Internationalism in practice – dockers in Italy show the way

Anarchist Communist Group

The Saudi ship Bahri Yanbu has been halted by dockworkers in the Italian port of Genoa.

The ship had previously picked up weapons for the war in Yemen from Antwerp, Belgium, but at Le Havre, France, it was prevented from picking up more arms for the Saudi military after a legal challenge by protesters from a human rights group. Now in Genoa, dock workers, with support from local protesters, have taken direct action and refused to load generators, saying in a statement, “We will not be complicit in what is happening in Yemen” and they also make the call to “open the port to migrants and close it to arms”.

While we are pleased that the legal challenge in Le Havre successfully prevented the ship from being loaded, we should also remember that the ruling class courts are rarely on the side of justice and the only sure way to prevent mass murder in this and other wars is when workers take direct action and physically prevent or sabotage the ruling class war effort.

This is the true spirit of anti-militarism and working class internationalism and the ACG applauds the dockworkers and their supporters in Genoa. We can only hope that this type of intervention sets an example to other workers also in a position to halt the bosses’ war machine.

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International May Day roundup

Anarchist Communist Group

In France there were many large demonstrations in cities and towns, In Paris, there was a march of some 2,000 anarchists on the morning of May 1st. This was followed by the main march with a turnout from the usual unions and left parties, but with also the turnout of both feminists and Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) who are increasingly radicalising. This was met with a massive police presence, who attacked demonstrators with batons and gas.

 Two thousand demonstrated in the centre of Rennes. Several thousands demonstrated at Toulouse, where again demonstrators were attacked with many tear gas grenades by police. There were two thousand demonstrators at Orleans, and between nine to eleven thousand demonstrators at Lyon, with a large anarchist bloc. There was a very large anarchist contingent on the demonstration at Dijon, where two thousand turned out for May Day. A few gas canisters fired by the cops. Two thousand at Cherbourg with an anarchist bloc, ten thousand at Bordeaux and a thousand at Aubenas. On all of these demonstrations, there were turnouts from feminists, climate change campaigners and Gilets Jaunes.

In Colombia, there was a large anarchist presence on the May Day demo in Bogota.

In Chile there were brutal attacks by the police on demonstrators.

In El Salvador, there was a large anarchist bloc on the demo in San Salvador.

There was an anarchist presence on the demonstration in Helsinki, Finland.

In Bangladesh the Anarchosyndicalist Federation organised a large event.

In Sweden twenty anarchists protesting against the government’s plans to clamp down on strikes were brutally arrested.

In Turkey, despite the severe repression there, large numbers of anarchists under red and black flags turned out.

In Bandung in Indonesia, police arrested six hundred anarchists, out of an anarchist bloc of one thousand, stripped them to their underwear and shaved their heads. Elsewhere in Indonesia, police tried to block a large anarchist bloc marching to join the main demonstration, leading to clashes.

In Germany in Berlin, police attacked a demonstration of twenty thousand, who chanted “The streets are ours” and “anticapitalism”.

In Italy, police attacked a demonstration against a transalpine high speed train tunnel.

In Greece there was a 24 hour strike of transport workers, including ferry, tram, train and bus workers.

Anti-Fascism in Italy: Arditi del Popolo

Arditi del Popolo– the first anti-fascist organization (1921-22) from Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement

Founded in Rome at the end of June 1921 from a split in the Associazione Nazionale Arditi d’Italia by the anarchist Argo Secondari. The AdP were a physical response to the action of the fascist squads and were welcomed by all those areas which had been under the hammer of the fascist squads for months. They gained much support from the non-politicised among the working class who saw their actions as a sort of revenge and essential for their survival.

Sections of the AdP were set up in various towns throughout the country, either as new creations or often on the basis of pre- existing groups such as the Lega Proletaria [Proletarian League] (linked to the Partito Socialista Italiana [Italian Socialist Party] and the Partito Comunista d’Italia [Communist Party of Italy]), the paramilitary Arditi Rossi in Trieste, the Figli di Nessuno [Children of No-one] in Genova and Vercelli.

The government of Bonomi was worried about the rise in this phenomenon as a treaty was about to be drawn up between the socialists and the fascists (the so-called “Pacification Pact”). […]

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