Pakistan floods: anarchist global relief effort of the WSF-IWA

AWSM

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The Workers Solidarity Federation, Pakistan section of the anarcho-syndicalist International Workers’ Association (IWA), are currently engaged in relief efforts to communities affected by the extraordinary floods caused by climate change.

Throughout 2022, Pakistan experienced an unusually intense heat-wave, with temperatures exceeding 50 degree celsius by May. With over 7,000 glaciers, Pakistan’s glacier count is only outnumbered by the polar regions1 , and the high temperatures, that affected much of South Asia, caused glacial melt, which in turn triggered the failure of ice dams and outburst floods. Water from these outburst flood travelled along tributaries and flowed into the main rivers, including the Indus River, Pakistan’s largest, causing their banks to break. The end result are the flash floods in Pakistan, exacerbated by the record monsoon rains that began in June. The events in Pakistan can be added to the list of spectacular instances of capitalism-induced climate breakdown.

The floods in Pakistan have so far affected two-thirds of Pakistan’s districts, destroyed two million acres of farmland, caused over 1500 deaths, and led to the displacement of 33 million people,2 with Unicef suggesting 16 million children affected so far. 3 All reasonable estimates indicate that millions in Pakistan now face the prospect of malnutrition and infections, particularly those caused by water-borne diseases.

In response to this, on 23rd August, members of the Workers Solidarity Federation, founded in May 2020 as the Pakistan section of the anarcho-syndicalist International Workers’ Association (IWA) established an emergency fund for disaster relief and began distributing food in flood-affected areas.4 In the course of the floods, some of their members involved in distributing aid in Balochistan became homeless5 , despite this they continued to distribute over 200 meals to families in the region.6 Since then, their relief efforts, supported by anarchists from around the world, have provided direct disaster relief to thousands of people affected by the ongoing floods in Balochistan and Sindh, in an extraordinary tale of mutual aid and transnational solidarity. On 4th September, WSF established a Flood Relief camp in Karachi.7 , distributing goods and cash to those in need.8 On 10th September, in Balochistan, WSF provided tents to people displaced by the floods. On 13th September, WSF members distributed food to people in the Dadu district of Sindh, travelling by boat across the flooded area9 , providing food supplies to 105 families10 . On 18th September, in Balochistan, WSF distributed food rations tents, mosquito nets, and infant care to the effected people in coming days.11 . On 25th September, WSF installed water tanks to provide clean water and distributed food.12 As at the time of writing, their relief efforts continue.

In the wake of any major disaster, where state and capital are absent, and a community is left to fend for itself, people self-organise on the basis of a need to survive. The self-organisation of disaster communities, to an extent, embodies anarchist principles of decentralised organisation, socialisation of resources, mutual aid, and co-operation. These principles come to the fore amidst disasters because they are taken as the most expedient option for maximising people’s chances of survival, but they are also measures that contradict the logic of capital and the state, which sooner or later will reclaim the lost territory, unless it is prevented from doing so by a large, armed, anarchist body.

The activities of the WSF-IWA are some of the most significant and heroic examples of anarchist praxis to date, and are particularly extraordinary considering that the WSF is only two years’ old.

To support the relief effort of the WSF, donate here: https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8NfSnN0RXl  13

https://libcom.org/article/pakistan-floods-anarchist-global-relief-effort-wsf-iwa

IWA History Conference, 1st – 2nd October, 28 Pułku Strzelców, Łódź, Poland

Updated Schedule Information:
Times: Saturday Oct. 1 – Sunday Oct. 2 11AM – 16:30PM UTC+2 (Central Europe) Transmission Live on You Tube, Recording Will be Available After
Times for some other countries:
10AM – 15:30 UTC + 1 (UK, Ireland)
12:00 – 17:30 UTC+3 (Western Russia, Ukraine)
14:00 – 19:30 UTC+5 (Pakistan, Parts of India and Russia)
16:00 – 21:30 UTC+7 (Indonesia)
17:00 – 22:30 UTC + 8 (Western Australia)
19:00 – 00:30 UTC+10 (Eastern Australia)
6:00 – 11:30 UTC-3 (Chile, Brazil, Argentina)
5:00 – 10:30 UTC-4 (Eastern US)
4:00 – 9:30 UTC-5 (Mexico, Peru)
Schedule October 1
10:30 – Welcome. Introduction
11:00 Towards Anarchosyndicalist Principles: the Genesis and Founding Congress of the IWA, December 25, 1922- January 2 1923 – Piotr Nowak, ZSP
12:00 The Development of the IWA – Laure Akai, ZSP. A history of the impact of repression and war, of divisive issues in the International and attempts to revive international anarchosyndicalism over the last 50 years.
13:30 Break
14:00 The Development of Anarchosyndicalism in the Balkans – Ratibor Trivunac, ASI
15:00 The History of Anarchosyndicalism in Austria – WAS
Oct. 2
Sessions with Online Presentations:
11:00 Approaches to Technological Progress and Industrialism in the IWA in the 1920s-1930s – Vadim Damier, KRAS (Russian with English Translation)
12:30 Russian Anarcho-Syndicaliism and the IWA, 1920-1930s – Dmitry Rublev, KRAS (Russian with English Translation)
14:00 Break
15:00 100 years of the IWA in Latin America. A revolutionary syndicalism with an ideological definition and finalist proposal. – Pedro Peumo, Solidaridad Obrera, Chile (Spanish with English Translation)

Belarusian anarchists given prison sentences from 5 to 17 years

Avtonom

On 6 September Minsk City Court the verdict in the criminal case of the so-called “international criminal group”. There are 14 anarchists and libertarians, four of whom have left Belarus.

The defendants were  under 10 articles, including the articles on the establishment and participation in a criminal organization (paragraph 1 and paragraph 2 of Article 285 of the Criminal Code) and the establishment of an extremist formation (paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 361-1 of the Criminal Code). The trial was held behind closed doors.

According to the investigation, from 2005 to 2020 unidentified persons together with anarchist Alexander Frantskevich and human rights activist Martha Rabkova united “a number of organized criminal groups”: “Revolutionary Action”, “National self-defense” and Revolucijna Dia (“Revolutionary Day”). Investigators allege that Frantskevich and Rabkova organized the arson of the Gomel District Tax Inspectorate in March 2017 using “Molotov cocktails.” .

The 10 convicts were sentenced to exactly the terms requested for them by the prosecution:

– Aleksandr Frantskevich – 17 years (strict regime)
– Akihiro Hanada-Gayevsky – 16 years (medium security)
– Marfa Rabkova: 15 years (minimum security)
– Alexei Golovko – 12 years (maximum security)
– Pavel Shpetny, Nikita Drants, Alexander Kozlyanko, Andrei Chepuk – 6 years for each (maximum security)
– Andrei Marach and Daniil Chul – 5 years each (reinforced regime)

It is also  that the defendants were fined up to 700 basic units (about $8,900).

After the verdict was pronounced, the law enforcers  relatives of the defendants and other political prisoners, diplomats who were not allowed into the courtroom, as well as random people who came to other trials.

Address for letters: SIZO-1, 2 Volodarskogo Street, Minsk, 220030 Belarus.

Currently, we work on the recovery of libertarian and anarchist movement in Russia, after a long period of stagnation and repressions and we need your help to improve our site. 

The Struggle must be controlled from below!

Zero for Conduct

University and College Union (UCU) ballot for industrial action over pay, working conditions and pension cuts is open and activists in the union are busy getting the vote out (GTVO) after a preparatory ‘week of anger’ (which most members may not have noticed). One change from UCU’s recent strategy has been to ballot on an aggregate basis. UCU along with Unite, Unison, GMB and the Education Institute of Scotland (EIS) , rejected a 3% pay offer, which was imposed in August. They are demanding a pay uplift of 12% or Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 2%. They are also calling for an end to insecure work practices (including zero hours contracts), and action on workloads; a chronic problem for many workers in Higher Education.. Unison Scotland have called strikes over pay in four universities beginning in September and Unison branches in some English and Welsh institutions are balloting for action…

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THE QUEEN IS DEAD

Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group

The Queen of England (as well as of Australia, Canada and numerous other former British colonies) has died.  Mass media have suspended normal programming to talk about nothing else and their actions can best be described as competitive hagiography, not only of the Queen herself, but even of the Empire she represented.  

Behind the non-stop coverage there is a real anxiety. The death of a monarch has always been a moment of crisis, and when the dead monarch has had an exceptionally long reign the crisis is especially acute. In days when the monarch wielded political power (which is still the case in some countries), it could open windows of opportunity for struggle, and even for power to change hands (a potential which was sometimes realised). Today, under capitalism, ‘constitutional monarchies’ are nationalist spectacles for the masses, so the crisis is different. It is the end of one show and…

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Russia: The Anarcho-Communist Combat Organization

Crimethinc
An Interview with a Clandestine Anarchist Group

When the Russian military invaded Ukraine at the end of February 2022, anarchists and other anti-war demonstrators defied draconian anti-protest measures to take the streets to express opposition. Over the months since those protests were crushed, resistance to the invasion has assumed new forms. Clandestine attacks across Russia have targeted railroads, military recruiting centers, vehicles belonging to pro-war zealots, and Russian state propaganda messaging in favor of the war.

One of the groups promoting these attacks is known as the Anarcho-Communist Combat Organization. In the following interview, they speak about how they see their predecessors in the reregional history of anarchist movements, how the political situation in Russia deteriorated to such an extent that it was possible to suppress social movements and invade Ukraine, and what kind of organizing is possible under the prevailing conditions. We also asked them to go into detail about some of their operational protocol, in case this is ever useful for anarchists elsewhere who may be compelled to adopt similar strategies as state repression intensifies around the world.

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National construction wildcat on the way as strike wave spreads

libcom

A picture showing construction workers picketing an Amazon site during a previous wildcat in June 2021.

Construction and engineering employers have begun warning their workforce against taking part in a wildcat strike over pay on Wednesday 10th August, as strike action has spread from unionised workplaces into new areas such as Amazon warehouses.

Recent weeks have seen industrial action across the UK, as official strikes called by unions such as the RMT, Unite and CWU have been joined by unofficial wildcat actions. The wave of wildcat actions started with a strike at Cranswick Continental Foods in Pilsworth, and has now spread to Amazon warehouses, with workers at sites in Tilbury, Rugeley, Coventry, Bristol, Dartford and Coalville walking off the job or staging unofficial slowdowns over pay, and reports of the action spreading to Belvedere, Hemel Hempstead and Chesterfield.

Wednesday 10th August could see an even more dramatic escalation, as rumours are spreading of a national wildcat strike among engineering and construction workers planned for that day. Nothing seems to have appeared in the national media yet, but the Teesside Gazette has warned of the disruption that could be caused by roads being blocked near site entrances, and STV has mentioned that the Grangemouth oil refinery in Falkirk is likely to see hundreds of maintenance workers walking off the job.

 

Hackney Anarchists Open Meeting

London Anarchist Federation

Our comrades at Hackney Anarchists are holding an open meeting for those in and around Hackney. They do community work, direct action, and want to build a movement towards radical change. They are looking for more anarchists to get involved and share their ideas about what a local group could be doing.

The meeting will be on Thursday the 4th of August, from 6pm to 8pm. It will be held in Hackney Downs Park, look for a big black flag to find the group.

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No Reading Group This Month

London Anarchist Federation

It is coming up to the time we would normally hold our monthly reading group, but the group will not run this month. Both of the members who are regularly involved unfortunately caught COVID this month and could not organise the group in time. The reading group will be back next month.

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Flickers of a Resurgent Labor Movement: Our Report from Labor Notes ’22

Black Rose / Rosa Negra

By Black Rose / Rosa Negra Labor Committee

Over the weekend of June 17-19, some 4,000 union members and affiliates congregated in Chicago for the 2022 Labor Notes Conference. Owing both to the fact that the biennial conference had been postponed in 2020 and to a modest (but nonetheless exciting) uptick in new union activity in recent months, most notably at Amazon and Starbucks, this year’s event set a new record for attendance.

Labor Notes began its life in 1979 as a monthly newsletter intending to challenge the sedate business and service models of AFL-CIO affiliated unions. The newsletter focused on spotlighting and linking together rank-and-file reform caucuses within these unions. Today, Labor Notes the periodical lives on, while Labor Notes the organization has dramatically expanded in scope to support year round “troublemaker” training schools and a publishing wing, in addition to its growing conference.

Labor Notes the organization acts on the social-political, or intermediate level, within the US (and Canadian)

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