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Lightly edited transcript from Lucien van der Walt’s discussion at 1st National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) Political School, September 2013. From his debate with Solly Mapaila, 2nd deputy GS of the South African Communist Party (SACP) on anarcho-syndicalist versus Leninist views of the revolutionary potential of unions. A version was printed in ASR #61 2014, pp. 11-20
Captures van der Walt’s main points: the debate on the anarcho-syndicalist view that revolutionary trade unions, allied to other movements, creating a self-managed worker-controlled socialism through mass education, counter-power and workplace occupations; anarcho-syndicalism as a working class tradition; the anarcho-syndicalist view that unions can potentially be more revolutionary than political parties including Communist Parties, & be revolutionary without leadership by parties; the view that electioneering can be replaced with direct action campaigns; that the Spanish Revolution (1936-1939) shows unions taking power and making a bottom-up worker-controlled revolution; and how NUMSA’s current actions refute Marxist-Leninist theory; other problems with that theory’s traditional approach to unions; and the implications of all of this for current debates over the form of a new socialist movement in South Africa and elsewhere; and the nature of the South African ruling class and the primary social contradictions.
Lucien van der Walt is co-author of “Black Flame: The revolutionary class politics of anarchism and syndicalism” (w.Michael Schmidt, 2009, AK Press) and co-editor of “Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1870-1940” (w. Steve Hirsch and Benedict Anderson, 2010, Brill). He has a long history of involvement in the working class movements. read full story / add a comment
Palestine-Israel The imminent crash of belligerent Zionism push the elite to desperate acceleration*
The acceleration of the B.D.S. and international pressure to yield a bit cause near panic in the more ideological Zionist elite. Their response is the acceleration of suppression of the Palestinians and efforts to transfer them from key areas that the die hards dream of holding for ever. The Israeli state force back the irregular settlers and initiate lot of action itself. The harassment of the Ni'ilin, Nabi Saleh, and Qaddum who are not in the focus of international media is more vicious than ever. Bil'in, that earned international fame and attention of media, got partial immunity. The chanting of the demonstrators expressed the real opinion on the two states pseudo solution: "free free Palestine from the river to the sea". The "no state redNblack flags" which the anarchist-communist Ahdut members hold high in Bil'in demos are accepted without any reservation. [Italiano] read full story / add a comment
mashriq / arabia / iraq / community struggles / news report Tuesday February 25, 2014 03:12 by Ilan S.
The Israeli media is nearly obsessed with the escalation of the B.D.S. as if they know things they do not disclose. Both supporters and rejectors of the end of the occupation start to regard it as immanent and not in the far future. A section of the Israeli capitalist elite which is suffering from the boycott and fear its escalation start to organize to accelerate the end of occupation. 100 of them traveled for the Davos conference and official organization was established. On the ground, it seems that the efforts of the Israeli state forces escalate their repression of on going struggles and make more efforts to transfer villagers from strategic locations. Bil'in will celebrate the ninth anniversary of the ongoing struggle on the 28th of February. [Italiano] read full story / add a comment
russia / ukraine / belarus / miscellaneous / press release Friday February 14, 2014 04:08 by Ilan S.
The Ukraine is in the throes of a popular uprising, against its regime, which is becoming ever more repressive. Much of the mainstream media presents the image of a confrontation taking place between the two statist political factions in Ukraine: The governing coalition, led by President Yanukovich, which has recently backed away from a trade agreement with the EU, and is developing a close subservient relationship with Russia; and the smaller nationalist opposition, headed by the parties called the Blow, Homeland and Freedom, opposing this development and seeking to attach Ukraine more strongly to the EU. ---- This image is far from representing reality. The nationalist opposition is attempting to ride the wave of popular protest, which has broken out due to measures taken by the Ukrainian state. read full story / add a comment
mashriq / arabia / iraq / community struggles / news report Tuesday February 04, 2014 22:04 by Ilan S.
At the beginning, the joint struggle was focused on specific routes of the separation fence. There were some achievements and many villages dropped from the regular struggle. The hope for a wide spread popular struggle was not fulfilled, but additional struggles were initiated and the struggles networked with sporadic joint actions. Lately the network of joint popular struggles started regular actions - the Ein Hijleh is the second one. The continued struggle draw the international attention and give essential base to the B.D.S. The persistent struggle saw seeds in the subterranean ferment that may sprout without a warning in the appropriate conditions. The persistence and the approaching avalanche of the B.D.S. energize the more far sighted activists. The joint struggle in Bil'in, Ni'ilin, Ma'asara, Nebi Saleh, Shikh Jarrah, Quaddum, and South of Hebron Hills keep going and hold the flag of struggle high. [Italiano] read full story / add a comment
mashriq / arabia / iraq / community struggles / news report Wednesday January 29, 2014 03:12 by Ilan S.
The Israeli media is ongoing reporting on the Israeli elite of the boycott on Israel that not only became significant economically and politically but also just two steps from avalanche. Lot of activists who do not understand that the battle will not be resolved here but in the international area lost heart as the immediate gains are small. They do not understand that the local struggle is the Archimedes point the lever of the B.D.S. is leaning on. So, the joint struggle continue. The international activists who come here carry the struggle in their countries when they return home. Whether understanding the importance of the joint struggle or not, hundred Israelis, and hundreds of Palestinians are every weekend in Bil'in, Ni'ilin, Ma'asara, Nebi Saleh, Qaddum, Sheikh Jarrakh, South of Hebron Hills, and sporadically in other locations too. [Italiano] read full story / add a comment
mashriq / arabia / iraq / community struggles / news report Sunday January 19, 2014 21:40 by Ilan S.
The clash that has lately been going on in Ramalla between the Palestinian Authority police and strikers' demonstration of employees of the United Nations agency stresses it again: the activists of the Anarchists Against the Wall initiative and many of the internationals and even many Palestinians are joining the struggle against the occupation and the settler project period. The expectations from a Palestinian state are low and marginal, and very few have any illusions about the expected freedom in the "free Palestine" they chant. The intensifying international pressure on Israel brings hesitant hopes about the nearing changes in the region. And the joint struggle continues in Bil'in, Ni'lin, Nabi Saleh, Qaddum, Ma'sara, Sheikh Jarrah, and the South Hebron Hills, with hesitant contemplations of joining from other villages. [Italiano] read full story / add a comment
mashriq / arabia / iraq / imperialism / war / opinion / analysis Sunday January 19, 2014 19:04 by TŘÍDNÍ VÁLKA
Since nearly three years that an uprising broke out in Syria (as a local materialization of the upheavals shaking the whole regions of Maghreb and Mashreq) most of the reactions, comments and critics from militant structures which claim to be revolutionary, internationalist, communist, anarchist… go in the same direction: doubts about what happens, doubts about essential material determinations that give birth to the movements that develop in front of our eyes, doubts about the class nature of these events, doubts about the potentially subversive content of struggles of our class when it doesn’t wave the “good” flags, etc. [Português] [Français] [Italiano] read full story / add a comment
mashriq / arabia / iraq / community struggles / news report Wednesday January 08, 2014 00:52 by Ilan S.
The change in the political climate in the region combined with the diminishing importance of the middle east oil resources, and the awareness of the world public opinion about the struggle against occupation of the 1967 war, start to have fruits.The first results of the boycott movement worry the Israeli elite. The news in the world media about the joint struggle and the many thousands of international activists which participate in it contribute a significant share. The organized grass root popular comities contribute it share to the political arena of the Palestinian west bank. In spite Israeli state forces harassment the weekly confrontations of Palestinian grass root popular comities and activists with Israeli activists with the anarchists against the wall, international supporters and Palestinian activists from the region, continue. [Italiano] read full story / add a comment
mashriq / arabia / iraq / community struggles / news report Tuesday December 31, 2013 19:56 by Ilan S.
This week the focus of struggle enlarged a bit to include the ugly racist politics of the Israeli naZionist establishment regarding the refugees. The same strategy of sporadic vicious attacks to the background of ongoing harassment and pressure to get out applied to the Palestinians within the 1968 borders and the new 1967 ones is also being applied to the 53 thousand African refugees. The racism inbuilt in the Zionist settler colonialism which built Israel and expands it at every opportunity is only refraining from harsher measures because of international pressure. Though Israel never adopted international conventions (with the support of the overwhelming majority of its Jewish community), it did refrain from prolonged defiance of them. Thus, it did not kill the refugees freely on the border. It just made them as miserable as it can and put increasing numbers into concentration camps. [Italiano] read full story / add a comment
mashriq / arabia / iraq / community struggles / news report Tuesday December 24, 2013 18:46 by Ilan S.
The unprecedentedly prolonged pre-trial detention of those involved with the Hura demo against the transfer of the Bedouins - including a Jew - may be in revenge for the dropping of the Praver transfer law, or a sign of an entirely new mode of suppressing dissent from the left. The state force pressures on the Palestinians involved in the joint struggle is escalating. The new front of conflicts between the state and the African refugees is escalating. The failure of the state to comply with the law passed against building concentration camps for refugees has ignited resistance from the refugees, culminating in a demo by a few thousand people on late Saturday evening in the commercial part of Tel Aviv, which a few hundred Israeli activists joined. The "electricity in the air" seemed to promise that the 50 thousand refugees are not going to take it passively any more. Israel may be forced to comply with the international refugees conventions. [Italiano] read full story / add a comment
mashriq / arabia / iraq / community struggles / news report Tuesday December 17, 2013 00:29 by Ilan S.
In spite of the unusual cold whether and snow, Friday demonstrations against the occupation and suppression and settlers infringements continued. Israelis failed to arrive to Qaddum but were there morally, Ni'ilin, and Bil'in were easier to arrive and so was Sheikh Jarakh where activists from the west Jerusalem waded the heavy snow. The struggle of the Bedouins and supporters against their transfer caused the freezing of the Prawer plan law continue focused on the efforts to release the 13 demonstrators in Hura two weeks ago still not released from jail. The struggle against the concentration camps for the African refugees took a turning point when about 150 of them defied the cold whether and started a 200 kilometer march to the Israeli Parliament in Jerusalem with activists make efforts to give logistic support. In solidarity with them Bedouin activist from Arakib village (already destroyed more than 50 times decided to join the marchers. [Italiano] read full story / add a comment
Examining the theory and practice of ‘mass’ anarchism and syndicalism, this paper argues against Daryl Glaser’s views that workers’ council democracy fails basic democratic benchmarks and that, envisaged as a simple instrument of a revolution imagined in utopian ‘year zero’ terms, it will probably collapse or end in ‘Stalinist’ authoritarianism—Glaser also argues instead for parliaments, supplemented by participatory experiments. While agreeing with Glaser on the necessity of a ‘democratic minimum’ of pluralism, rights, and open-ended outcomes, I demonstrate, in contrast, that this ‘minimum’ is perfectly compatible with bottom-up council democracy and self-management, as envisaged in anarchist/syndicalist theory, and as implemented by anarchist revolutions in Manchuria, Spain and Ukraine. This approach seeks to maximise individual freedom through an egalitarian, democratic, participatory order, developed as both means and outcome of revolution; it consistently insists that attempts to ‘save’ revolutions by suspending freedoms, instead destroy both. Parliament, again in contrast to Glaser, from this perspective, meets no ‘democratic minimum’, being part of the state, a centralized, unaccountable institutional nexus essential to domination and exploitation by a ruling class of state managers and capitalists. Rather than participate in parliaments, ‘mass’ anarchism argues for popular class autonomy from, and struggle against, the existing order as a means of winning economic and political reforms while—avoiding ‘year zero’ thinking—also building the new society, within and against, the old, through a prefigurative project of revolutionary counter-power and counter-culture. Revolution here means the complete expansion of a bottom-up democracy, built through a class struggle for economic and social equality, and requiring the defeat of the ruling class, which is itself the outcome of widespread, free acceptance of anarchism, and of a pluralistic council democracy and self-management system. read full story / add a comment
Have you daydreamed about being a member of an intergenerational social justice organization like the Order of Phoenix? Do you want Dumbledore to be your mentor?
Have dementors ever burned you out to the point where you doubted your ability to take on the Voldemorts of our world? Do you find yourself analyzing Dumbledore’s Army for lessons on developing liberatory vision, culture, leadership, and organization?
Me too. Let’s develop our magic, build our liberation movement, and defeat the Voldemorts in our world. I’ll meet you in the Room of Requirement, and until then, here are my top lessons from Harry Potter for social justice organizing.
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mashriq / arabia / iraq / community struggles / news report Tuesday December 10, 2013 04:13 by Ilan S.
The joint struggle of the anarchists against the wall with popular comities of the villages which persist in weekly struggles was promoted first time when a joint comity was organized and sporadic joint actions were organized by it. This month another promotion was done and a monthly convergence of all the activists involved - this time in Nabi Saleh was done. This week, the intensifying of the Israeli transfer efforts of Palestinians and the struggle against it was focused this week on the Praver plan to transfer in one step 40,000 Bedouins within the 1948 border. There were demonstration in various location in Israel picking in the more than thousands participant in Hura at the Bedouin region. The social struggle within israel which was al along the last two years in very low intensity seems to collect some momentum. [Italiano] read full story / add a comment
mashriq / arabia / iraq / community struggles / news report Monday December 02, 2013 15:37 by Ilan S. 1 comment (last - saturday december 14, 2013 15:15)
The more the naZionist settler colonialist transfer efforts are frustrated by world's imperial powers - the more vicious are the efforts to implement them. The yielding to the European demand to sign the partial ban on investment in 1967 occupied regions are "compensated" by transfer efforts within the 1948 borders. The efforts to transfer in one step tens of thousands of Bedouins in the south is the most prominent one... and the rising rebellion encourage the activists within Israel. Around 300 Israeli activists - Jews and Palestinians joined more than 1000 local Bedouins demo in Saturday afternoon. Hundreds of state force personals who dispersed the demonstration after a long while - in response to stone throwing started by undercover secret service. This was an appropriate pick for the weekend struggle and joint struggles against occupation and the creeping transfer in the occupied west bank region. read full story / add a comment
mashriq / arabia / iraq / community struggles / news report Tuesday November 26, 2013 22:33 by Ilan S.
As the value of Israel to the Imperial powers of the West diminishes, restraining orders are issued often. Though Israel is stalling and fighting for time, the bitter truth is starting to produce desperate exclamations and careless activities of accelerated transfer efforts - both in the occupied West Bank and within Israel (the Bedouins mainly). These days, the failure of Israel to ignite the fires of war in Syria and Iran, and the EU sanctions against the colonial settlement project in the occupied West Bank, seems to be marking a turning point. It seems that the joint struggle against the occupation and the B.D.S. project is starting to show more than localized success. So the joint struggle of the Anarchists Against the Wall with the popular committees climbs another step: the initiative of the popular committees which till now initiated sporadic activities, but are now initiating a monthly convergence of all involved activists. [Italiano] read full story / add a comment
mashriq / arabia / iraq / community struggles / news report Tuesday November 19, 2013 01:10 by Ilan S.
The state efforts to extinguish the struggle of grassroots communities has escalated lately using terror on the villages' populations in the hope they will put pressure on the activists to stop confronting the Israeli occupation forces. With one success - an end to the weekly demonstrations in Beit Ummar - they are still hoping for more. However, the escalation of the transfer efforts in a few choice rural areas seems to have the opposite effect. The frustration of the Israeli State is expressed in the huge transfer of tens of thousands of Bedouins within Israel. The heroic Bil'in, Ni'ilin, Nabi Saleh, Qaddum, Sheikh Jarrah, South of Hebron Hills, and the coordination committee of the popular struggle, are still adhering to the joint struggle with the Israeli Anarchists Against the Wall and other Israeli activists. [Italiano] read full story / add a comment
Palestine-Israel, joint struggle continues in spite of the low ebb after the Arab Spring lost steam*
mashriq / arabia / iraq / indigenous struggles / news report Thursday November 07, 2013 16:20 by Ilan S.
The Arab Spring seemed to accelerate the turning of the wheels of history immensely... but the momentum lost gradually and as much as the hope had risen so is the following passivity after the excitement dissipated. In the joint struggle of the anarchists against the wall and the popular comities we had our own surge when the joint struggle had it excitement of novelty and some victories, but it lost its momentum when the higher comity of the popular comities sailed to expand the popular struggle. When the excitement and surge ebb we can still find the company of comrades and lean together our shoulders on the wheels of history who turn to slow on their axes... and continue persistently the struggle (Tsumud). Bil'in, Ni'ilin, Nabi Saleh, Qaddum, Ma'asara, Sheikh Jarrah, South of Hebron Hills and more keep the flame of the joint struggle. [Italiano] read full story / add a comment
mashriq / arabia / iraq / community struggles / news report Thursday October 31, 2013 16:01 by Ilan S.
On one side we have the mounting international pressure on Israel to yield a bit. On the other side we have the increase in fear among the Israeli elite of the mounting pressure and the threats to increase it much more in the near future. In spite of that, or as a desperate response, efforts to speed up the creeping transfer by the regular Israeli forces and the irregular settlers have increased immensely. Israeli Bedouins face the prelude of the Farwer plan to transfer half of the villagers to concentration towns. Palestinians of the Jordan valley and of the area south of Hebron are being harassed and slowly pushed out. The demolitions and confiscations of houses in occupied East Jerusalem continues. And the joint struggle persists both in Bil'in, Ni'lin, Nabi Saleh, Qaddum, Ma'sara, Sheikh Jarrah, and South of Hebron Hills - and will never stop. [Italiano] read full story / add a comment
Fri 07 Mar, 10:36
Statement of left and anarchist organizations about "Borotba" organization 14:19 Thu 06 Mar 0 comments
AWU statement on Russian intervention 13:15 Thu 06 Mar 0 comments
Global Fire 18:41 Tue 04 Mar 0 comments
Palestine-Israel The imminent crash of belligerent Zionism push the elite to desperate acceleration* 02:11 Tue 04 Mar 0 comments
Palestine-Israel, The smell of the nearing victory the joint struggle contribute to so much to.* 03:12 Tue 25 Feb 0 comments
Statement about the situation in Ukraine from AWU 21:22 Thu 20 Feb 0 comments
Israel(-Palestaine), Anarcho-Communist Ahdut - Regarding the ongoing events in the Ukraine 04:08 Fri 14 Feb 0 comments
Palestine-Israel: Just another week of joint actions against the occupation and transfer* 17:02 Thu 13 Feb 0 comments
Palestine-Israel, The joint struggle continue with self assurance and without illusions 22:04 Tue 04 Feb 0 comments
Palestine-Israel, the future is knocking on the door of the joint struggle 03:12 Wed 29 Jan 0 commentsmore >>
Venezuela at the crossroads Mar 03 2 comments
Fifty shades of brown Mar 02 0 comments
The Crisis, Bailouts, Quantitative Easing, Tapering and Class War Mar 01 1 comments
An anarchist critique of horizontalism Feb 24 0 commentsmore >>
AWU statement on Russian intervention Mar 06 ACT 0 comments
Global Fire Mar 04 Anarkismo 0 comments
Statement about the situation in Ukraine from AWU Feb 20 AWU 0 comments
Israel(-Palestaine), Anarcho-Communist Ahdut - Regarding the ongoing events in the Ukraine Feb 14 AAtW, ainfos Ahdut (Unity) 0 commentsmore >>