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indonesia / philippines / australia / community struggles / opinion / analysis Saturday September 07, 2019 20:34 byMACG

It is these things: Liberal arrogance, the danger of recession, accelerating climate change and the Fascist threat that, together, form significant elements of the political terrain in Australia today. And it is these things that will guide the MACG in the next few years.

The struggle continues

The dust is settling in Australia after Labor lost the Federal election everybody expected it to win. The Liberals are triumphant and, for now, united behind Scott Morrison. Meanwhile, Labor is in shock and has retreated into its shell, after signalling that it will be dumping the policies that drew the most heat from the Liberals and the media. Meanwhile, the Greens, having improved their vote and retained all their seats, confounded their mainstream critics and have emerged with a restored reputation.

The immediate temptation for the political Left is to trim its sails and adapt to the new conventional wisdom. Fortunately, many have resisted this. Instead, they are angry at the ALP for running a complacent campaign and under-estimating the push-back there would be from vested interests. In a way, it is a small-scale equivalent of Labor’s mistake over bank nationalisation in 1949. Labor approached its policies as technocratic, mildly progressive reforms, but the political Right saw them as a fundamental assault on their power base. The visceral anger of millionaire retiree investors and the genuine fear of coal mining communities for their future swept Labor’s technocratic reforms out of the public arena. The media campaign waged by the Murdoch press, the Liberals and Clive Palmer took votes off a Labor Party that doesn’t know how to fight.

How should Anarchists react?

Firstly, we know there’s no Parliamentary road to libertarian communism, so we’re not going there. Secondly, we’re not in the business of giving advice to the Labor Party on how to run its campaigns better. And thirdly, we’re not going to say “Oh, goody, the Greens are on the way back.” Instead, we analyse the political landscape because we want to advance the argument for building an Anarchist Communist movement that can contribute to the working class struggle. We want to know what to do next.

And in deciding what to do next, we have to assess what’s coming next. To what events will we need to respond?

The most immediate thing is that the Liberals reckon they’re invincible. If they can spend three years consuming themselves in internal warfare while pursuing policies most people detest, and still win an election, their arrogance will know no bounds. They will go for the jugular on policy and ignore its unpopularity. Similarly, the Liberal Right and its noisy backers in the Murdoch press and on Sky after dark will decide that party discipline is for sissies. They will pursue their pet culture war issues and, if Morrison decides they need to tone it down, they’ll set out to nobble him like they nobbled Turnbull. If a good election campaign can get people to forget the previous three years of disaster, the next campaign can get the coming three years forgotten.

Beyond that, dark economic storm clouds are brewing. The Australian economy is slowing to a stall, while real wages haven’t grown in the last few years and don’t look like growing any time soon. Meanwhile, the trade war between the United States and China is deepening. This threatens to plunge the world into recession, one which would particularly hit Australia, given its great reliance on trade with China. It’s been nearly thirty years since Australia had a recession, so most people with jobs now didn’t have one then. A recession now would be a massive political shock as well as an economic one.

Next, and contrary to the fatuous Right wing commentator Andrew Bolt, climate change is an issue that won’t go away. In fact, as climate change accelerates, so will both the environmental disasters it brings and the movement of young people against the climate emergency. The next hot summer will definitely make climate change impossible to ignore and might possibly kill the Great Barrier Reef. Already, Morrison is copping unprecedented flak from leaders of South Pacific island countries. He has met a problem he wasn’t expecting. His bullying tactics in protecting the interests of coal mining companies are opening South Pacific doors to China and undermining Australia’s imperialist interests there.

Finally, Fascism is continuing to rise worldwide. Open Fascist parties have large delegations in a number of European Parliaments, while crypto-Fascist parties are even junior partners in some governments. Meanwhile, Fascists have come to power atop democratic governments in places like Brazil, India and the Philippines. And in the United States, Donald Trump seems to be doing his best to encourage its growth, even as Fascist groups on the ground suffer setbacks in the wake of the continuing fallout from the murderous Unite the Right mobilisation in Charlottesville in 2017. Here in Australia, while the wider Fascist milieu is broadening, Fascist groups have continued to have difficulties.

It is these things: Liberal arrogance, the danger of recession, accelerating climate change and the Fascist threat that, together, form significant elements of the political terrain in Australia today. And it is these things that will guide the MACG in the next few years.


*Article included in “The Anvil”, Newsletter of Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group (MACG), issue 8/4, July-August 2019.

southern africa / community struggles / opinion / analysis Friday July 19, 2019 22:09 byBongani Maponyane

Across South Africa, municipalities are in crisis. They are under-funded, anti-working class, anti-poor and anti-township, and riddled with corruption by elites. The working class is oppressed by the state - as well as the private bosses - and we say "Enough is Enough!" We need to build an alternative: organs of counter-power, which can demand changes and lay the foundations for a deep redistribution of wealth and power to the mass of the people: the working class and poor.

Post-apartheid municipalities are intended, on paper, to realise human rights through providing basic services, like electricity, sanitation and water. They are meant to involve the public in decision-making and budgetary planning through methods like imbizos, community meetings, ward councilor meetings and Integrated Development Plans (IDPs).

In reality, the local arm of the state is extremely inefficient and fails dismally to fulfil its stated purposes. Basic services, especially in the townships, are a disaster. The local state is not about upgrading working class lives. It is a contested site of power, used by rival groups in the local ruling elite to exploit people and extract resources, including through corrupt tenders. Meaningful participation in municipal processes is a lie.

Merafong City Local Municipality in the West Rand District of Gauteng province is a perfect example. Merafong is the largest of three municipalities in the district, making up almost half of its geographical area, and centred on Carletonville, an old mining town. Under executive mayor Maphefo Mogale-Letsie of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), the municipality's townships have been in turmoil.

Shockingly bad delivery of basic services has become the norm in Khutsong, a high-unemployment, black working class township. Community members are very angry, and there is a long list of grievances. We, in the township, are affected in all areas of life: poor roads, lack of infrastructure, constant water cuts compounded by failing sewage systems, illegal dumping and a lack of refuse collection, ongoing power blackouts, and terribly built low-cost "RDP" government houses. Water leaks from collapsing infrastructure have even led to sinkholes, the largest of which destroyed five houses.

The local municipality is plagued with corruption, and this has had a serious effect on service delivery. Those elected into key municipal positions pursue their selfish class interests, always at the expense of the working class. The main methods used are control over council funds by the elite, and the (often corrupt) outsourcing of municipal services to cronies.

In 2014, for example, the mayor rejected calls by her own party, the ANC, for an investigation into 21 dodgy tender awards, amounting to millions of rands, including R22 million for revamping the municipal website "at a time the municipality was struggling to provide services to ratepayers, including replacing ailing infrastructure."[1] Two years later, the mayoral offices were upgraded, and a luxury car bought, without following correct processes and at a time of disastrous conditions in Khutsong. [2] Money for repairing the sinkholes seems to have been diverted, with no repairs in sight.

Merafong was one of the municipalities involved in the VBS banking scandal. Municipalities moved their accounts to the VBS Mutual Bank, in return for payments to senior municipal officials, following which the money was embezzled by the bank managers in one of the largest banking scams in South African history. As of 31 March 2018, Merafong municipality had over R50 million rand in VBS. That money is effectively gone, as the bank collapsed in a public uproar that exposed serious wrongdoing by chiefs and ANC and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leaders.

Coupled to corruption is maladministration: the rot begins at the very top with the mayor. Political party loyalty, rather than skills or hard work, determine appointments, in a system where people get jobs in return for support. By October 2018, Merafong municipality was in debt to a staggering half-a-billion rands, including around R155 million to ESKOM and around R314 million to other creditors. [3] Municipal workers protested as salaries went unpaid in September, [4] while Khutsong underwent protests and road blockades.

On top of this, local municipalities are underfunded. Under neo-liberalism, the budget allocation from national to local government to deliver services has been cut. The number of people in urban areas is rapidly growing, and the need for money has also increased as municipalities are expected to upgrade townships to address the apartheid legacy.

However, there has been a 85% decrease in inter-government transfers to local government from 1991.[5] Up to 90% of local government revenues have to be generated locally, usually meaning higher charges and more cut-offs, cutting costs through methods poor maintenance, outsourcing and casual workers, and other neo-liberal methods, like commercialising municipal operations.

The toxic mixture of corruption, incompetence and neo-liberalism means that many municipalities underspend monies they do have, and fail to collect subsidies from central government they could have, as they run so badly [6] and are so focused on local elite interests.

This situation has been happening for years on end, with no development in sight in Khutsong. Surely community members deserve the right to a clean and healthy environment, to decent living conditions and sustainable jobs? The system in place has not only robbed us of dignity, but has left our neighborhoods unbearable, with sinkholes, failed storm water drains and sewerage leaks, along with an ever-growing unemployment rate and spreading squatter camps.

Municipal governments are only obliged to "consult" the public, that is hear their views. The actual decisions are made by the municipal leadership. [7] No decisions come to the people for checking, and decisions cannot be reversed. Other methods are used to gut the consultation processes as well: inaccurate reporting, use of English for complex documents, withholding information including audits and reports, meetings at inconvenient times and so on.

The problems cannot be fixed by the state. Despite all the promises on paper, service delivery does not align with the local government's ruling elites' interests: they are dependent on votes, but not controlled by the voters.

The state, at all levels, is an authoritarian pyramid of power, which provides no space for the working class and poor to participate in any positive way. Power is centralised in the hands of a few, who can then make decisions in their own class interests. The only group outside the municipality that this political elite will pay attention are the bigger private capitalists, the economic elite. Such a system is ripe for corruption, and, even when money is short, or administration bad, it focuses on elite interests.

The real solution is mass organising, creating what we anarchists call counter-power. This, at the municipal level, means building outside and against the state: from street committee to block committee to ward committee, and upwards, based on meetings and delegates under strict mandates.

Instead of the working class communities being involved in the empty "participatory" processes of the municipalities, which are controlled by elites, we want a bottom-up process controlled by the working class and poor, on issues that affect the towwnship. This means gatherings based on real participation, where the working class public itself is the core of all decision-making, and where all key decisions are passed by those affected through democratic processes. Discussions must be at convenient meeting and at times, like weekends or public holidays that enable participation by community members.

It is essential that these organs of popular organising develop into a "counter-power," that is, into bodies that can fight, from below, for improvements now but that can also, in the future, actually take over local governance. That does not mean making them into a copy of the municipality: it means building an alternative, decentralised system of bottom-up democracy, from the street upwards, which will run the services and develop the areas according to decisions and planning from below, based on common ownership.

The reality is that the system cannot deliver. To build counter-power, we need to be willing to organise protests, and we must always run education. At the same time, our demands should make sure we can operate at a distance from the state, autonomously, rather than get dependent on the politicians. A concrete example of how we can do this is to demand building materials and build our own houses, where we choose, rather than demand RDP houses, built at low quality by local capitalists, far from work.

In building counter-power, it might be useful to attend the various municipal meetings, imbizos, and so on held by the authorities. Grievances can be raised, and demands made for access to audits and information, including in local languages. We must demand transparency and the release of forensic reports of municipal accounts, and if this is refused, it exposes the true nature of the system. But this does not mean pretending these municipal give us a real say - just using the platform to confront the authorities and highlight the backlogs and corruption, building our movements.

Most importantly, this is a call for mass organisation in the community, for us to start building our own structures outside and against the state - and to fight and struggle for ourselves as the working class community of Khutsong, rather than trust the parties or elections.

[1] Baldwin Ndaba, 9 July 2014, "Mayor 'ignored calls for tender probe,'" IOL online,
[2] Ana Reporter, 4 February 2018, "Mayor treats herself to new Benz while Merafong falls into disrepair," IOL online,
[3] Carletonville/ Fochville Herald, 7 November 2018, "Municipal finances looking worse,"
[4] Carletonville/ Fochville Herald, 3 September 2018, "VIDEO: Werkers betoog voor munisipale kantoor,"
[5] Ronald Wesso, 2006, An Alternative View of Globalisation, Local Government and Democracy, ILRIG, Cape Town, p. 17.
[6] Oliver Nathan, 2013, "Municipalities, service delivery and protest," Zabalaza: A Journal of Southern African Revolutionary Anarchism, number 13,
[7] Ronald Wesso, 2006, An Alternative View of Globalisation, Local Government and Democracy, ILRIG, Cape Town, section 1.

Ελλάδα / Τουρκία / Κύπρος / Λαϊκοί Αγώνες / Ανακοίνωση Τύπου Wednesday June 19, 2019 22:29 byΑναρχικό Στέκι Φιλοσοφικής

Εν’ όψει των εκλογών, προτάσσουμε την όσο πιο ευρεία αποχή. Γιατί οι λύσεις στα φλέγοντα ζητήματα που αφορούν τις ζωές μας, δεν βρίσκονται στα ψηφοδέλτια. Τις πραγματικές διεξόδους θα τις βρούμε στους συλλογικούς αγώνες, στις μικρές και μεγάλες μάχες. Καμία νομιμοποίηση στους κομματικούς δυνάστες, καμία ψήφο στους εκφραστές της κρατικής και καπιταλιστικής βαρβαρότητας, ότι χρώμα και ότι προσωπείο και αν έχουν. Η συμμετοχή στις εκλογές δεν είναι συμμετοχή στα “κοινά”. Είναι ανάθεση των υποθέσεων μας, είναι συναίνεση στα σχέδια υποβάθμισης των ζωών μας.

Να αψηφίσουμε τις εκλογές - Καμιά νομιμοποίηση του συστήματος

Μετά το αποτέλεσμα των ευρωεκλογών και την συντριπτική της ήττα, η κυβέρνηση του σύριζα ανακοίνωσε την διεξαγωγή πρόωρων κοινοβουλευτικών εκλογών υπό το βάρος της κοινωνικής απονομιμοποίησης. Με τελική ημερομηνία την 7η Ιουλίου, το κόμμα της “ελπίδας” θα αναμετρηθεί με το κόμμα της “τάξης”, σε μια εκλογική μονομαχία που θα καθορίσει τις νέες συνταγές διαχείρισης του οικονομικού και πολιτικού συστήματος. Τα διακυβεύματα της κάλπης θα είναι πολλά και θα πολλαπλασιαστούν μέσα σε ένα καλλιεργούμενο περιβάλλον τεχνητής πόλωσης, το οποίο θα οξύνεται όλο και περισσότερο όσο θα πλησιάζει η μέρα των εκλογών. Τα κατασκευασμένα διλήμματα, οι κοινωνικοί εκβιασμοί και το προμοτάρισμα της μίας ή της άλλης πολιτικής γραμμής θα βομβαρδίσουν τις συνειδήσεις μέσα από τους τηλεοπτικούς δέκτες, τον τύπο, τα ραδιόφωνα, το διαδίκτυο, θα τροφοδοτηθούν από τα χρηματοδοτούμενα εκλογικά κέντρα και θα εκφραστούν με περίσσια αυτοπεποίθηση και κομματικό φανατισμό στους απλούς, καθημερινούς, κοινωνικούς διαλόγους μεταξύ των υπερασπιστών του ενός ή του άλλου κόμματος.

Από την υπογραφή της 3ης δανειακής σύμβασης το καλοκαίρι του 2015 και την επέκταση των μνημονιακών προγραμμάτων, η πολιτική χρεωκοπία της αριστεράς του κεφαλαίου ήταν προδιαγεγραμμένη. Η κατάρρευση του σύριζα σφραγίστηκε με την ψήφιση των πιο σκληρών μέτρων κοινωνικής αφαίμαξης στο πλαίσιο των αξιολογήσεων του χρέους, με τα μνημόνια διαρκείας, τους στόχους των υψηλών πλεονασμάτων, την δημιουργία του αυτόματου κόφτη δημοσιονομικής προσαρμογής ο οποίος διασφαλίζει πως οι αποκλείσεις από τα δημοσιονομικά ζητούμενα θα αντιμετωπίζονται με επιπρόσθετα προσαρμοστικά μέτρα και ανεξαρτήτου πολιτικής βούλησης, να αφήνουν μια εγκληματική παρακαταθήκη. Μια παρακαταθήκη που δεσμεύει μια ολόκληρη κοινωνία σε περαιτέρω ταξική υποτίμηση, γιατί τα μνημόνια θα έχουν συνέχεια είτε βρίσκεται σε ισχύ κάποιο πρόγραμμα είτε όχι.

Η έξοδος από την κρίση και το τέλος των μνημονίων είναι ο μεγαλύτερος πολιτικός μύθος της απερχόμενης κυβέρνησης. Η λήξη των δανειακών συμβάσεων σηματοδοτεί πρόσκαιρα τον τερματισμό της παροχής ρευστότητας των εγχώριων εξουσιαστών και εγκαινιάζει μία νέα συνθήκη όπου τα μνημόνια θα εφαρμόζονται και θα απομυζούν την κοινωνική βάση χωρίς την παράλληλη οικονομική ενίσχυση από τους δανειστές. Η παύση του δανεισμού και η μετέπειτα έξοδος στις αγορές ήταν μόνο η τεχνητή αναθέρμανση της εμπιστοσύνης των διεθνών αγορών προς τα ελληνικά ομόλογα, ένα κερδοσκοπικό success story με την αρωγή κατευθυνόμενων οίκων πιστοληπτικής αξιολόγησης που κατά παραγγελία “τόνωσαν” την αυτοπεποίθηση των επενδυτών και των κεφαλαίων αντισταθμιστικού κινδύνου, των λεγόμενων heads funds, στην αγορά χρέους. Η έκδοση του ομολόγου και ο δανεισμός των κεφαλαιαγορών δεν πιστοποίησαν την βελτίωση της οικονομίας, αντίθετα η αγορά ελληνικού χρέους είναι μια απόδειξή ότι η καπιταλιστική κρίση βαθαίνει. Βεβαιώνει ότι τα συσσωρευμένα στην χρηματοπιστωτική σφαίρα κεφάλαια αδυνατούν να βρουν άλλες κερδοφόρες επενδυτικές διεξόδους και στρέφονται μαζικά στην αγορά χάρτινων τίτλων-σκουπιδιών από χρεοκοπημένες οικονομίες με στόχο μια άμεση μεταπώληση και ένα γρήγορο κέρδος. Γιατί, αναμφίβολα, οι “επενδυτές” γνωρίζουν την τοξικότητα αυτών των ομολόγων, γνωρίζουν πως αν δεν τα ξεφορτωθούν σύντομα, θα τους μείνουν στα χέρια.

Επιπροσθέτως, η “ευημερία των αριθμών” για την οποία θριαμβολογεί ο σύριζα δεν αποτελεί εγγύηση πραγματικής καπιταλιστικής ανάπτυξης, αφού το 80% της “ανάπτυξης¨ προέρχεται από την φοροληστεία και βέβαια τα πλεονάσματα από τα οποία χορηγήθηκαν οι πρόσφατες ψευδοπαροχές προήλθαν από τον υπερβάλλοντα ζήλο της κυβέρνησης να υφαρπάξει βίαια επιπλέον κοινωνικό πλούτο, κόντρα μάλιστα και στις απαιτήσεις των ίδιων των δανειστών που οι εισηγήσεις τους ήταν καθαρά εισπρακτικού χαρακτήρα. Η αναιμική ανάπτυξη που παρουσιάζει το ελληνικό κράτος ισοδυναμεί με αγκύλωση στην στασιμοχρεωκοπία. Το δημόσιο χρέος ανέβηκε κατά 335 δις, ένα εντυπωσιακό (σχεδόν) 200% του αεπ. Είναι σαφές, ότι το χρέος καθίσταται μη βιώσιμο και διαρκώς θα διευρύνεται, την ώρα που η αποπληρωμή του αποτελεί πάγια δέσμευση από το πρώτο ακόμα μνημόνιο και δεν μπορεί να επέλθει. Οι πολιτικές των τελευταίων χρόνων όχι μόνο δεν περιόρισαν το πρόβλημα της κρίσης χρέους, αλλά μετακύλησαν την μεγαλύτερη έκρηξη της στο μέλλον. Οι πολιτικές κοινωνικής ισοπέδωσης είναι στην πραγματικότητα το όχημα μεταβίβασης της κρίσης από το καπιταλιστικό σύστημα στην εργατική τάξη. Και τα “αντίδοτα” στην κρίση ασφαλώς δεν αποτέλεσαν φάρμακο, παρά μόνο μετατόπισαν τα βάρη της κρίσης στους φτωχούς και τους αδύναμους.

Η σωτηρία της “ελληνικής οικονομίας” ήταν και είναι ταυτόχρονα ένα στοίχημα για την ίδια την ευρωζώνη. Η ευρωζώνη δεν φαίνεται προετοιμασμένη για την έξοδο της Ελλάδας από την νομισματική ένωση, διαφορετικά θα είχε ήδη δρομολογηθεί προκειμένου να αποφευχθούν τα προερχόμενα από τους κρατικούς υπολογισμούς πακέτα στήριξης που ουδέποτε θα επιστραφούν. Όμως μια ενδεχόμενη έξοδος υπό την υπάρχουσα δομή της ευρωζώνης θα δημιουργούσε αναταραχές, αποσταθεροποίηση, θα οδηγούσε σε εκτεταμένη φυγή κεφαλαίου.

Απ’ την πλευρά μας είναι ξεκάθαρο πως είτε η παραμονή στην ευρωπαϊκή ένωση και την ζώνη του ευρώ, είτε μια έξοδος σαν αυτή που οραματίζονται τόσο οι φασίστες ευρωσκεπτικιστές, όσο και ορισμένοι αριστεροί πυλώνες του συστήματος, με μετάβαση δηλαδή σε υποτιμημένο εθνικό νόμισμα και επιστροφή στην “εθνική οικονομία” ή με το πέρασμα σε μια “σοσιαλιστική οικονομία” είναι η άλλη όψη του ίδιου (κυριολεκτικά) νομίσματος. Είμαστε πολέμιοι και των δυο συνταγών, γιατί είμαστε εχθροί του καπιταλισμού και του κράτους σε κάθε μορφή τους. Αυτό που προτάσσουν οι ευρωσκεπτικιστές είναι καταδικασμένο να αποτύχει. Το μοντέλο της εθνικά καθορισμένης οικονομίας, του κρατικού παρεμβατισμού και του εθνικού νομίσματος είναι ασύμβατο με την σημερινή εποχή, όπου κάθε λειτουργία του συστήματος βρίσκεται σε παγκόσμια αλληλεξάρτηση. Επιπλέον, η θωράκιση των δανειστών στο αγγλοσαξωνικό δίκαιο στην περίπτωση του ελληνικού χρέους, διασφαλίζει την δεσμευτικότητα της αποπληρωμής και σε ενδεχόμενο αλλαγής νομίσματος.

Στα 4 χρόνια που ο σύριζα βρέθηκε στην εξουσία επιβεβαιώθηκε πόσο ανεδαφική ήταν η προώθηση κενσυανικών πολιτικών μεταρρυθμίσεων μέσα σε ένα παγκοσμιοποιημένο περιβάλλον που ολοένα συγκλίνει προς την νεοφιλελεύθερη γραμμή, πόσο ανεφάρμοστα είναι τα εργαλεία διαχείρισης της κρίσης που επιτάσσουν τα μοντέλα κρατικού παρεμβατισμού στο σημερινό πλαίσιο των διεθνοποιημένων αγορών και του υπερεθνικού εμπορίου, πόσο καταδικασμένη να πτωχεύσει είναι η ρητορική της “ελάφρυνσης των αδυνάτων” με την ταυτόχρονη αποδοχή της ύπαρξης και αποπληρωμής του χρέους, της συμβάδισης με τις πολιτικές της ευρωπαϊκής ένωσης, της αποδοχής του καπιταλιστικού συστήματος εν γένει. Ο σύριζα σαφώς και δεν έκανε “κολωτούμπα”. Ήταν κομμάτι του συστήματος και προτού γίνει κυβέρνηση. Και όπως αξιοποιήθηκε από την αστική τάξη για να προσφέρει ζωογόνες ανάσες σε μια περίοδο πολιτικής αστάθειας και κοινωνικής οργής που εν τέλει περιορίστηκε, αποδυναμώθηκε και κατεστάλη, έτσι αναδύεται σήμερα ως συμπλήρωμα του καθεστωτικού διπολισμού, ως η κύρια έκφραση της εγχώριας σοσιαλδημοκρατίας.

Το κράτος αποδείχθηκε πως έχει συνέχεια και ότι ο τερματισμός των αντικοινωνικών λειτουργιών του μπορεί να επέλθει μόνο μέσω της επαναστατικής ανατροπής του. Η κυβερνητική θητεία του σύριζα ανέδειξε αυτό που οι αναρχικοί ανέκαθεν υποστηρίζαμε, ότι δηλαδή δεν υφίστανται εναλλακτικές πολιτικές διαχείρισης ενός συστήματος βαρβαρότητας με “κοινωνικό” πρόσημο. Ο καπιταλισμός δεν εξανθρωπίζεται, ούτε υπάρχουν συστημικές λύσεις για την ευημερία των πολλών. Πόσο μάλλον εν καιρώ παγκόσμιας καπιταλιστικής κρίσης, κατα την οποία οι ανάγκες επιβίωσης του κεφαλαίου προϋποθέτουν για την αναπαραγωγή του την ανακατανομή του πλούτου από τα κάτω προς τα πάνω. Η εργατική τάξη εκτίμησε ότι μια αριστερή κυβέρνηση μπορεί, έστω σε έναν βαθμό να την ανακουφίσει. Έτσι αναζήτησε την επίπλαστη ευημερία των δανείων, του πελατειακού κράτους, της κοινωνικής κινητικότητας των προ-κρίσης εποχών. Δεν συνεκτίμησε ότι η “ευημερία” στον καπιταλισμό είναι πλασματική και δεν μακροημερεύει.

Στον αντίποδα του σύριζα, βρίσκεται η επερχόμενη κυβέρνηση. Πρόκειται για την δεξιά του νόμου και της τάξης, των συμφερόντων της οικονομικής ολιγαρχίας, της υπεράσπισης της “ελεύθερης αγοράς”. Τασσόμαστε πολέμια ενάντια σε αυτήν αλλά και στο κράτος και τα συμφέροντα που υπηρετεί. Άλλωστε τόσο αυτοί όσο και οι σοσιαλδημοκράτες υπηρετούν το ίδιο σύστημα. Θα αγωνιστούμε για την πολιτική τους κατάρρευση με την παρουσία μας στους δρόμους ενάντια στα νέα μέτρα, στις νέες νομοθεσίες, στις νέες πολιτικές λεηλασίας, στα νέα μνημόνια που θα επιβάλλει. Θα παλέψουμε ώστε το αντίπαλο δέος του συστήματος να είναι επαναστατικό και ανατρεπτικό.

Δεν αμφιβάλλουμε λοιπόν, ότι το εκλογικό αποτέλεσμα της 7ης Ιουλίου θα επηρεάσει αισθητά την κοινωνική πλειοψηφία. Κι αυτό, διότι ανεξαρτήτου αποτελέσματος και κυβερνητικού σχηματισμού θα είναι εξίσου ζημιωμένη. Το χάσμα μεταξύ πλούσιων και φτωχών θα συνεχίσει να διευρύνεται. Οι αντιθέσεις των τάξεων είναι και θα παραμείνουν πολωμένες και σύντομα θα γίνουν άβυσσος. Και στην άβυσσο δεν υφίστανται ισορροπίες. Η καπιταλιστική κρίση δεν είναι μια παροδική κάμψη, αλλά ένα εγκλωβιστικό τέλμα. Τα μηνύματα για την “κρίση που τέλειωσε”, για την “ανάκαμψη της ελληνικής οικονομίας”, για την “τρόικα που έφυγε” διαχέονται καταιγιστικά από τα κατευθυνόμενα μμε αλλά δεν μπορούν να αποκρύψουν την πραγματικότητα η οποία πάντα θα “δραπετεύει” από την συστημική προπαγάνδα. Το σύστημα είναι σε αδιέξοδο και σκορπάει την φτώχεια, τον πόνο, την δυστυχία και τον θάνατο για να επιστρέψει στην κανονικότητα. Και είναι στο δικό μας χέρι και στη δική μας βούληση αν θα το ανατρέψουμε.

Ως αναρχικό στέκι φιλοσοφικής είμαστε κομμάτι του ευρύτερου αγώνα για την οικοδόμηση της επαναστατικής προοπτικής, για την οικοδόμηση της αναρχικής κοινωνίας. Μίας κοινωνίας ελευθερίας και ισότητας, απαλλαγμένης από ταξικές διαιρέσεις και καταπιεστικούς θεσμούς, που θα αναπτύσσεται με γνώμονα την συλλογική ωφέλεια. Σε μια τέτοια κοινωνία τα κοινοβούλια, το σύστημα αντιπροσώπευσης, οι επαγγελματίες πολιτικοί δεν θα έχουν θέση. Σε αυτή την κατεύθυνση, παλεύουμε μέσα και έξω από την σχολή για την ανάπτυξη των συνειδήσεων, την διάχυση των προταγμάτων μας, την όξυνση του αγώνα ενάντια στο κράτος και το κεφάλαιο. Είμαστε αναπόσπαστο μέρος της φοιτητικής βάσης, των διεκδικήσεων της φοιτητικής κοινότητας, και στοχεύουμε στην σύνδεση αυτών των διεκδικήσεων με τους συνολικότερους κοινωνικούς και ταξικούς αγώνες. Ταυτόχρονα διεξάγουμε και έναν πολιτικό, αμιγώς αναρχικό αγώνα.

Εν’ όψει των εκλογών, προτάσσουμε την όσο πιο ευρεία αποχή. Γιατί οι λύσεις στα φλέγοντα ζητήματα που αφορούν τις ζωές μας, δεν βρίσκονται στα ψηφοδέλτια. Τις πραγματικές διεξόδους θα τις βρούμε στους συλλογικούς αγώνες, στις μικρές και μεγάλες μάχες. Καμία νομιμοποίηση στους κομματικούς δυνάστες, καμία ψήφο στους εκφραστές της κρατικής και καπιταλιστικής βαρβαρότητας, ότι χρώμα και ότι προσωπείο και αν έχουν. Η συμμετοχή στις εκλογές δεν είναι συμμετοχή στα “κοινά”. Είναι ανάθεση των υποθέσεων μας, είναι συναίνεση στα σχέδια υποβάθμισης των ζωών μας.



france / belgium / luxemburg / community struggles / opinion / analysis Wednesday June 05, 2019 12:26 byMorgan

The following article is a personal impression and analysis of the Yellow Vests movement in France, written by a French Anarchist now living in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

First of all I should state that this is a personal account of the situation, it is my take on a very diverse and complex social movement. The Yellow Vests movement was sparked by a government increase of oil prices in October 2018 though it is far from being the only reason: a generalized speed reduction on the roads was also seen as a way for the government to disguise a new tax by increasing the number of speeding tickets. However these reasons are only the tip of the iceberg. The real origins of this explosion of anger can be found in the policies of president Emmanuel Macron and the French political and social situation. Emmanuel Macron was elected with only few people ever voting for him ; his opponent being the far right candidate Marine Le Pen. A number of voters refused to chose between a racist and a former banker. Unsurprisingly Macron is now conducting a right-wing style of governance; reducing taxes on the rich, continuing his predecessor’s attacks on workers’ rights, repression of social movements, harassment and deportation of migrants etc. In this context the Yellow Vests movement appears as a true popular revolt which has more to do with the fact that people are fed up with the whole situation. However this anger is taking many forms and has not always been directed at the origins of the problem. I will try and explain the movement’s evolution and shed a light on its class composition, then I’ll try to explain the anarchists and revolutionaries’ response to the situation and I will then conclude on the movement’s perspectives and current situation.

In the beginning the movement was launched by a mobilization on social media platforms, especially Facebook. In a few videos seen by millions of people and shared by thousands, individuals were calling on people to oppose the government’s fuel prices increase, new speed limits and taxes. At that time the symbol of the yellow vest appeared ; in France every car owner is bound by law to have one in their vehicle. The videos also called on people to rally in the roundabouts and to wear this vest or display it in their cars. These roundabouts soon became quite central in the mobilization. This gives us a hint on the class composition of the movement in its early stages. The roundabout is typical of France’s industrial and commercial centers, suburbs in-between the countryside and cities, rural areas and small towns. As opposed to the typical movements centered on big urban centers this one took hold in more rural parts of the country. At one point people started occupying these roundabouts, day and night in some places ; tents were erected, shacks constructed and campfires were lit. One has to remember that it was still winter time and the nights could be quite cold. From time to time the roundabouts were blocked and skirmishes with drivers happened here and there. A few people even died because they were hit by cars. However most of the occupations consisted in distributing leaflets to passing cars and debating with other Yellow Vests. The occupations are the place were people who had never participated in any mobilization were starting to learn, make friends and comrades etc. At that time only a few of them were union members or had been militants of any political party.

Politically speaking the movement always has been, and is, very diverse. The focus on taxes, and fuel prices were quite foreign to leftwing activists. On the roundabouts you could also find a number of petit-bourgeois, small business owners, racist and fascist figureheads etc. Depending on the place some racists attacks took place and on one occasion people arrested migrants and gave them up to the police. This is far from being the core of what was happening, but this explains why many leftists and anarchists did not know how to react. However as the movement grew and was met with police repression the situation started to evolve. People started to converge on weekly demonstrations called “Acts” and were faced with police brutality. Occupations on roundabouts were more and more violent because of police repression and not only because of other car owners. At one point the movement decided to regroup for demonstrations in Paris. One cannot stress enough how politically young the Yellow Vests are as a whole. For example, in France one has to declare intended demonstrations to the police. The problem is that although the movement had figureheads, there was no leader and no central decision making process. What happened is that people decided to show up in Paris just by announcing it and they chose a symbolic place that has always been off limit to social movements; the Arc de Triomphe and the upper class neighborhoods surrounding it. This led to heavy clashes with the police and a part of the movement started radicalizing. From people who wanted the police to join them and treat them as fellow workers they started to become more and more angry at what was perceived as unjust and unfair violence and repression. In the meantime, business owners and right-wing elements started to distance themselves from the violence, however the core of the movement did not. Demands started to include more and more things like minimum wage increase, taxes for the rich and democratic reforms. More anarchists and leftists started to join, sympathize and organize within the movement as it appeared for what it was – a working class movement, unaffiliated to political parties and unions. For some anarchists and revolutionaries the fact that these people were capable of rioting in the most upper class neighborhoods of Paris has also been a wake up call. These demonstrations did not always take place in Paris ; some cities emerged as political hubs although they did not have a tradition of participation in social movements and riots sparked by police repression started in a lot of them.

The shift between a mainly non-violent and peaceful movement to a more determined one was also accompanied by the media. In the beginning the bourgeois media found that the movement was quite positive. It seemed like a dream come true for right-wingers; a peaceful popular movement against taxes, government involvement in the market etc. However as the movement became more radical the media started to describe them as irresponsible persons, and called on people to distance themselves from rioters and vandals etc. In the meantime police repression kept on growing and the media did not say anything about it. At this day at least 30 people have lost an eye because of the LB-40 (flashball), 5 lost a hand because of grenades and one person was killed. The number of wounded are in the thousands and a lot of people are being condemned to jail time after each demonstrations. Most of them were not even directly involved in the riots. The role of the media in not reporting police brutality and the distortion of facts explains why a lot of Yellow Vests are now considering them as liars and enemies. A few journalists were even attacked during demonstrations even though most of the violence they face has been coming from the police. We also have something to say about the role of public figures within the movement. Most of them refuse to be considered as leaders and a lot of them do not hesitate to call on people to act outside the law. For now the ones who tried to recuperate the movement for their own political gain or tried to distance themselves from rioters were met with a loss of popularity, death threats and attacks, even during the demonstrations or at their homes. This is also the case for government ministers and political figures opposing the movement.

As always the revolutionary movement (anarchists and autonomists) did not agree on the situation and the response we should have. Especially in the beginning, a lot of people considered the movement to be a right-wing and even far-right movement. It is true that some of the early leaders in the Yellow Vests had a right-wing background. However for me a lot of the rejection from parts of the revolutionary movement came from the disconnect between the revolutionaries and the working class. This is of course a greater problem that should be adressed elsewhere. Because of the problems that I mentioned before, and especially racism and antisemitism, some comrades are convinced that this movement is nothing more than a fascist movement. However there has been a shift in the face of police repression and riots. To their credit most autonomists groups like the “appelistes” (Lundi Matin, the invisible committee, Julien Coupat) were very enthusiastic from the very beginning. But we also have to note that their enthusiasm is also based on the fact that they reject traditional class analysis.

As people were criticizing the movement for its racism, a lot of comrades took it upon themselves to try and expel the fascists from the movement. It mainly came in the form of street brawls during demonstration, doxxing and attacks against fascists’ headquarters. At one point and time the situation was tense for left wing organization and groups. Some attacks were really violent and a number of comrades were wounded. The fascists even attacked mainstream left-wing groups, not only revolutionaries and antifascists. They are still a threat but it seems that the tide has turned for them. They lost a number of brawls and recently they were beaten so badly that they ended up in the hospital. Some of them decided to go to the police which is unusual for those groups who pride themselves on their strength and who are culturally close to the ultras and hooligans. However for me these street groups are not the main threat ; the intellectual figureheads of the movement are sometime far more problematic. A number of them support conspiracy theories and/or low key antisemitic views. For the time being there seems to be no solutions for that other than pointing out the problem.

The riots in the streets are at level not seen in Paris since 1968. The upper class neighborhoods have been attacked and even a ministry was broken into with a forklift during a demonstration. The Yellow Vests are getting more and more radicalized because of the repression; as a result they are starting to view the tactics of what they see as “the black bloc” as more and more justified. Most of the people active in the riots are first timers. This alliance between Yellow Vests and the “black bloc” also called “Kway noir” in french or “Black raincoats” is an issue of great concern for the government. They have not succeeded in creating a rejection of the more radical elements by the movement. Even worse, a lot of people are starting to consider that black bloc tactics are justified in term of self defense and that they have sometimes defended them from police violence. On the other hand the increase in police violence means that a lot of people are now justifiably scared to go to demonstrations and that has provoked a drop in participation if not in popularity.

Concerning the mainstream unions their attitude toward the movement has often been quite hostile but an hostility towards them can also be felt within the Yellow Vests. The reason being that the section of the working class active in the movement is not the same as the one that is unionized. The unions in France are overwhelmingly members of the public sector, have a higher pay and/or work in companies with more than 500 employees. On the other hand a lot of the Yellow Vests come from the private sector, and more precarious situations – self employment, temp jobs etc. However on the ground the rank and file of the unions has been participating in the movement from the very beginning. What is new for France is that this kind of social movement has never been further from the unions and can be seen as an other sign of their loss of power. However unions are not opposing the movement ; for the 1st of may Yellow Vests and unions were demonstrating together.

The government has attempted other means of destroying the movement using methods other than sheer repression. The main attempt was “the great debate” a type of national consultation supposed to inform the president of the request and demands of the people. It took the form of local groups of randomly selected people tasked with debating and coming up with requests. However at the end of this the president declared basically that he understood the demands but was not going to do anything about it, therefore showing what the attempt was all about ; destroying the movement and gaining time hoping people would get tired. It was even more absurd to try and start the “great debate” because the movement already had more or less clear demands ; things like the “RIC” ; Popular Initiative Referendum. This would basically permit people to vote on policies and propose new ones. Raising minimum wage and taxing the rich are the two other big demands on the part of the Yellow Vests.

Recently the demonstration of the 1st of May has seen much violence coming from the police. The government had given orders not to let the more radical groups time to gather. This took the form of a lot of charges and attacks on the demonstration and even on mainstream unions, which is quite new. The representative of the main french union, The CGT, even had to leave the demonstration because of police violence. The government succeeded in limiting this demonstration but failed miserably in the eyes of the public. For example they were caught lying about demonstrators attacking a hospital-it turned out people were just trying to flee police violence. More and more videos show special police groups attacking people randomly, even in their own buildings. Police repression has had the effect of radicalizing and bringing revolutionaries and Yellow Vests closer together. More and more the common denominator of this diverse movement is a hatred for the police and calls for a revolution.

It is difficult to see what the future will bring. However this movement is like no other we have seen in the past years. Personally I think that even though this movement has a lot of problems and things that need to be addressed it is still the most encouraging thing to appear in a long time ; an autonomous, working class, social movement.

indonesia / philippines / australia / community struggles / opinion / analysis Monday May 27, 2019 11:45 byMelbourne Anarchist Communist Group

What is required is a movement that knows the police are the attack dogs of the enemy and they are to be resisted with all the strength and intelligence we can muster. We need a movement that wants to #StopAdani directly, a movement that will create facts on the ground that the Government cannot ignore. And this movement, in challenging the State, will inevitably look beyond it, to a new society with no State and no cops, and where capitalism is no more.

As more people realise that climate change is happening, and there’s no mainstream political call to stop it, they are starting to look beyond conventional political tactics. Writing to politicians, canvassing for votes and having a protest march from A to B won’t cut it. The peace and environment movements have a long tradition of adopting Non-Violent Direct Action (NVDA) when other tactics fail, without clarifying just what this means.

It is generally agreed that NVDA attempts to achieve aims by peacefully taking action that either directly reaches the goals or blocks the government or corporation from conducting business-as-usual (BAU). These are very effective tactics. Indeed, it can be seen that a strike is a primary example. Workers withdraw their labour and refuse to conduct BAU until the boss makes an adequate offer. Direct action gets the goods.

In practice, though, there is more to NVDA than meets the eye. While the peace and environment movements in Australia are almost totally united in supporting this approach, there has been much debate around how to go about it. Big campaigns over the Franklin Dam in the 1980s and Jabiluka in the 1990s were riven by conflicts over this issue. With the climate movement gearing up to wage an NVDA campaign to #StopAdani, the MACG believes it’s important to understand NVDA a little better.

Sometimes NVDA really is what it says on the tin. People come together to take action that achieves their goals directly. On other occasions, however, what occurs is Non-Violent “Direct” Action. The participants go through the forms of Direct Action, without the substance. The action is symbolic and the intent is to achieve its aims indirectly, through traditional channels.

Though many examples of such “Direct” Action have occurred in Australia, it is best illustrated by a particularly egregious case in the United States. Democracy Spring is a progressive organisation in the US trying to improve voting rights and limit the ability of rich people to use their money to influence elections – worthy objectives, but very limited ones. In April 2016, this organisation conducted a march from Philadelphia to Washington DC, culminating in a blockade of the Capitol Building, the Parliament House in the US. Over the course of a week, more than 900 people were arrested. An impressive display of Direct Action, it appeared.

Appearances, though, were deceiving. The “blockade” of the Capitol was a highly choreographed affair, conducted in close co-operation with the police. There was no serious attempt to impede access to the building. The arrestees were not even charged, something which would have clogged up the courts. Instead, they were released after paying $50 each to a fund that goes to the Washington DC police. This was “Direct” Action as a mere ritual, a symbol of determination, with the real objective of getting TV coverage that mentioned “a record number of arrests”. It was a media strategy based upon deception.

The difference between NVDA and NV“D”A is usually apparent in the media strategy. In Direct Action, the primary function of the media strategy is to draw more people into the action and to deter State violence. In “Direct” Action, its primary function is to generate mass media attention that affects the mainstream political process. Direct Action empowers the participants, while “Direct” Action treats them as a stage army, to be wheeled on and off according to the judgment of the leadership.

The difference between Direct Action and “Direct” Action can also be seen in their very different treatment by the police. Police in liberal democracies are often quite willing to collaborate with “Direct” Action as a symbolic spectacle, provided everything is negotiated properly beforehand and it is understood that there is no actual attempt to prevent BAU. The police are almost always very hostile to Direct Action. They are the armed thugs of the State and their job is to uphold an unjust social order. Direct Action puts the State in the position of either being forced to concede, or to use police violence to defeat the movement. The larger the Direct Action is, the more violence the State would require and the more it would be discredited by its response, sparking wider resistance. It is thus a challenge to the State, something no police force can tolerate.

Now that Adani have announced they intend to build their coal mine and railway line without borrowing from the banks, the probability of it actually starting work has increased. If the climate movement wants to #StopAdani, it will have to defeat the opposition of the Queensland Government. NVDA will be called for. The movement needs to be clear, though, that “Direct” Action is different from Direct Action.

When a government is firmly in the pocket of the mining companies, it will not be swayed by a few weeks of TV stories showing pictures of people passively sitting and waiting to be taken away by the cops. What is required is a movement that knows the police are the attack dogs of the enemy and they are to be resisted with all the strength and intelligence we can muster. We need a movement that wants to #StopAdani directly, a movement that will create facts on the ground that the Government cannot ignore. And this movement, in challenging the State, will inevitably look beyond it, to a new society with no State and no cops, and where capitalism is no more.


*This article first appeared in The Anvil Vol 8 No 2, published 14 March 2019.

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Community struggles

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52588568_2198504780477691_9029610570185179136_n.jpg imageThe struggle continues Sep 07 20:34 by MACG 0 comments

a.jpg imageMoving from Crisis in South Africa's Municipalities to Building Counter-Power Jul 19 22:09 by Bongani Maponyane 0 comments

elections.jpg imageΝα αψηφίσουμε τι`... Jun 19 22:29 by Αναρχικό Στέκι Φιλοσοφικής 0 comments

yellow.png imageYellow Vests and Raincoats Jun 05 12:26 by Morgan 0 comments

onstrike.png imageNon-violent action: Direct and “direct” May 27 11:45 by Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group 0 comments

elections.jpg imageDon’t mention the emergency May 17 06:40 by Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group 0 comments

Lekhetho Mtetwa imageA ZACF Anarchist in the Landless People’s Movement, South Africa Apr 06 00:57 by Lekhetho Mtetwa 0 comments

text"En Haití está desarrollándose una rebelión de las masas en contra de un sistema neocoloni... Mar 28 09:04 by Mario Hernández 0 comments

460_0___30_0_0_0_0_0_218553.jpg imageLos Chalecos Amarillos han destrozado las viejas categorías políticas Feb 28 17:27 by Jerome Roos 0 comments

textWhat Colour is Your Vest? The Gilets Jaunes Revolt Shaking France Feb 14 20:53 by Stefan Kipfer 0 comments

1070099052_1.png imageΔιδάγματα από τα ... Jan 31 17:39 by Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group 0 comments

1070099052.png imageLessons from the Yellow Vests Jan 30 20:36 by Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group 0 comments

textYellow Vests and I Jan 12 19:55 by Pamela Anderson 0 comments

218553.png image“The Gilets Jaunes have blown up the old political categories” Jan 12 19:53 by Jerome Roos 0 comments

textTrespass 3 Jan 03 23:45 by Trespass 0 comments

textDe los chalecos amarillos en Francia a las luchas obreras portuarias en Chile: La centrali... Jan 03 17:02 by Matías Guerra 0 comments

e74bb6ebfd5c898fbe19c0fd7d7a721d.jpg imageΤουριστικοποίησ... Dec 27 19:17 by Dmitri (αναδημοσίευση) 0 comments

212131320.jpg imageΓια το φετιχισμό ... Dec 19 19:05 by Αναρχική Συλλογικότητα ΚΑΘ 0 comments

capaespanol.png imageEl Terrorismo de Estado en Curitiba (Paraná, Brasil) Dec 19 03:35 by Colectivo Anarquista Lucha de Classe 0 comments

capafamiliasincendio.png imageTerrorismo de Estado em Curitiba, Brasil Dec 19 03:27 by Coletivo Anarquista Luta de Classe 0 comments

basra1.jpg imageLes manifestations dans la ville de Bassorah, au sud de l'Irak, continuent Sep 14 05:30 by Zaher Baher 0 comments

basra.jpg imageThe Protest in Basra’s city, south of Iraq, continues Sep 09 00:57 by Zaher Baher 0 comments

textEstados Unidos, tierra fértil para un nuevo municipalismo Aug 21 18:32 by Kate Shea Baird 0 comments

textRęka w ręke z kobiecą rewolucją Aug 09 21:02 by Justyna Wróblewska 0 comments

ricardo_flores_magon.jpg imageΧωρίς αφεντικά Aug 05 21:31 by Ricardo Flores Magon 0 comments

cropped96194995296576995695795996541.jpg imageΕίμαστε εδώ για ν ... Jul 29 22:53 by ΕΣΕ Ρεθύμνου 0 comments

iraq_1.jpg imageDes nouvelles des manifestations à Bagdad et dans le sud de l’Irak : ça continue ! Jul 27 20:51 by Zaher Baher 0 comments

8b056e643c1c40c39aa4e0eb2eb97056_16x9_788x442.jpg imageManifestations de masse dans le sud et le centre de l’Irak Jul 26 11:26 by Zaher Baher 0 comments

iraq.jpg imageUpdate report : The mass protests in Baghdad and Southern Iraq continue Jul 25 06:43 by Zaher Baher 0 comments

ac001e94a76a41ae83326c2d6bd9b6e3.jpeg imageMass protest in central and southern Iraq Jul 19 01:11 by Zaher Baher 0 comments

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