November Remembrance Day blog, by Peregrin.

It’s November, which means it’s the time for red paper poppies again. When I’m asked why I’m not wearing a poppy it gives me pause for thought. Unlike many that obediently wear their poppy I do actually think about what I’m doing nowadays, if I choose to wear or not wear one I will at least do so mindfully and with purpose. Don’t get me wrong when I was young, I used to blithely wear my red poppy and remember all the dead people I had never met and never knew. Then, later, I would wear my white poppy to challenge that narrative of only remembering those who died as soldiers in the war. I’ve moved on again since then.

When I’m asked why I’m not wearing a poppy there are several reasons behind that. Most people that ask won’t want the answer. I suppose the easy answer is that I think that it’s more important to help the living than remember the dead. That’s a sound bite so let’s go deeper.

Even as a child I instinctively understood that history was important. We had to remember the suffering from the past to learn how to stop it happening again in the future. It should be a process of evaluation and improving. In my innocence I thought that’s what the red poppy stood for. That in some way we could prevent war by wearing it. As I got older I somehow came to believe that we could prevent war by remembering all the victims; soldiers, civilians, men, women, children and animals. I’ve come to the understanding that if this were true we would no longer have war or suffering or death, because remembering isn’t enough. We need to understand the reasons for it and put in place prevention and cures.

War – what is it good for? Well, it’s very good for making some people very rich. It’s very good for killing people, but not just any people; it doesn’t kill politicians and not so many rich people. It appears that the majority of people who are killed are going to be the poor old working class. Who does the fighting and the killing? It’s not so much the rich and the officer class is it? It’s the working class, privates, our children, the boys with the stars in their eyes off looking for adventure, and family, decent pay and heroism. Taken away to serve the ruling classes in a bid for control of the planet’s resources.

When I’m asked why I’m not wearing a poppy I reflect on the glorification of war, the way the poppy is used as a recruiting tool. We wouldn’t need to raise money through charities to support the victims of war if we did away with the wars of the ruling classes. The best way to support those victims is to stop making them.

I used to wear the white peace poppy, of course I was a pacifist back then, a hippy child of innocent heart. I used to believe in peaceful protest. In my naivety and because it made sense to me in the fight for justice and peace and equality, I thought it would make sense to the ruling classes to give up their wealth and their power, I don’t know why I thought they would want the same things that I did. I thought we could march and that when we had enough people we could just ask for what we want and make a better world for everyone through co-operation.

I think I’ve grown up a bit since then. Why would the rich give up their power over us voluntarily. The more power we take the more they will try to defend what they have. They don’t care about fairness or equality, that’s a lie they spin to the working class to get them to comply with the system from which they benefit the most.

When I’m asked why I don’t wear a poppy, these are the thoughts that go through my mind. How does it benefit anyone to wear these symbols? They are symbols of compliance, they are to distract us by making us think about the dead rather than the living, a great display of pageantry and theatre to entertain us. The class war continues while we look the other way and remember, but we never learn, we just remember the past when we should be looking into the present. Looking at all our class who die and are killed by the system, the same one that caused the wars in the past and that causes the continuing class war today.

When I’m asked why I don’t wear ay poppy, these are the thoughts that go through my head but I don’t have the words to express those thoughts and they wouldn’t understand or care if I did. They would take it as a criticism but it’s not. If you want to wear your poppy, if that’s your thing, if that’s how you make a difference in the world go ahead. I don’t care if it’s red, white, purple, black or rainbow coloured, I appreciate the sentiment behind the idea of trying to stop war. I just don’t think a poppy has the power to do that, I’ve lost faith; I think we need to think about it more.

When I’m asked why I don’t wear a poppy and why I won’t be attending Remembrance Day this year I ask the question why don’t you wear transgender badge?  Why won’t you be attending transgender day of remembrance when we stand together to remember a group of people that died this year around the world? Killed by the system, the same one that continues to kill people even to this day, young people who had to die for the crime of just wanting to be themselves. Because maybe if we remember the present instead of the past we might be able to figure out a way to stop it all happening again and again into the future. We do need to take action though – Watch, record, evaluate, understand and take action.

Transgender Day of Remembrance – 20th November  – Think it over!

The Guillotine, by Mal Content.

What is the Guillotine actually for?

Driven like many to outrage at the brazen depravity of the ruling class, I’ve been thinking about revenge lately.

Revenge is a visceral reaction therefore irrational and anarchists ought to eschew it, as anarchism is a rationalist philosophy. It only has propaganda value where the object is generally seen within our Class to be ‘guilty’, and when carried out by the underdog with cunning and daring. A prisoner on the Guillotine, however entitled, is by definition a helpless victim.

No doubt we’ve all fantasised about executing the bourgeoisie en masse, but that would only make martyrs of them. Think of the cult of the Romanovs, the epitome of idle, despotic wastes of space. It would grant them unwarranted importance as individual operators of an exploitative system. Better to give them a small allotment and leave them to fend for themselves.

Punishment is a kind of revenge that implies competence to judge. The oppressed must be the judges of the oppressor, victims the judges of the perpetrator. The state cannot take revenge as it doesn’t represent any people, only a mode of production. It simply flaunts its monopoly on violence and coercive force by ‘punishing’ breaches of that monopoly.

What then would be the benefit to the victors of a revolution punishing the losers? I imagine the upheaval that would accompany the rupture of capitalist power relations would provide enough emotional catharsis for those who need it. The Bolsheviks opposed capital punishment during the Russian revolution then ‘rediscovered’ it once they had taken over. Mostly it was not used against recalcitrant bourgeois but fellow revolutionaries who got in their way. Had they actually created their promised free society they would never have needed it.

The post-war Spanish action groups often came together with a pact not to seek personal retribution, since everyone had lost family and friends during the war, and their torturers, rapists and executioners were walking the same streets. Each had dozens of scores to settle and it would have consumed all their time and energy. Instead their aim was to kill Franco, to cut the head off the snake, not revenge but a practical solution to a practical problem.

Mal C x

Statement of Kurdish-speaking Anarchist Forum (KAF)

By e-mail.

We stand against the military attacks of the Turkish state and call for the mass resistance.

Once more, as with the last thirty years, the Turkish state’s military forces with the support of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the political parties that are within the regional government, launched a military attack against its opponents and radical social movements in the area. The military attacks have always been through land, also by fighter jets and recently by drones.

In the meantime throughout all this period the resistance of oppressed people and libertarians continued against these military attacks by the Turkish government. The resistance took different forms including people’s march for peace and against war, protests and attacks against the military basis of Turkish forces inside Kurdistan, campaigns of boycotting Turkish goods, blockade of production sites and attacks against Turkish companies wherever they are present.

The Turkish state is not only attacking the Iraqi Kurdistan and Rojava, in fact its political and military power has been extended to the Middles East, North Africa and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The Turkish state is doing all these as a second powerful member of NATO before the eyes of the so called “international community” under the justification of protecting the human rights and the values of Islam. It does that by crossing all the borders without any restrictions and have been supported by the US, UK and the EU.

Having saying that, we are not complaining against or blaming the KRG, the Iraqi government or the political parties that are in power, because we know that they are united by their class interests. In our eyes they all are a united enemy class that support the capitalist state in Turkey against working class and exploited people. In opposition to them, we call for our unity with the whole exploited people in the region and the world and ask their support and solidarity.

We Kurdish-speaking anarchists have always been and will always remain against all types of wars. Our positions and attitudes regarding this were very clear. In the meantime we were supported the will and the struggles of the grassroots movement and the libertarians in Kurdistan, Iraq and Middle East.

We have tried, in the line of historical background of the libertarian position, to not take part in any sides of the wars. We have never surrendered to the ideologies of fighting against fascists or defending the homeland as excuses for taking part in wars side by side with the national Bourgeoisie or by the side of nationalist parties. We do not make distinctions between states whether they are small or big, developed industrialized or underdeveloped and not industrialized country, imperialist or colonized. We never supported state’s military or its militia as we are against all kinds of superiority, class domination and authoritarianism. We struggle against all ideologies, like, protecting “our” country, nationalism, religion, dictatorial or democratic country, and Neo-liberal. Therefore, considering our extremely limited forces, our imbalanced social force against the armies, the armed action’s uselessness in this given situation, we have resisted and will resist all attempts that try to drag us into military conflicts, into sacrificing ourselves to the interest of one side and into defending the nation and the state. So, we appealed to our comrades and supporters to continue and develop a non militaristic social struggle.

For us the anarchist, the issue is not only that we must not be part of any sides of the war between states and infighting militias, but it’s most importantly about maintaining and developing the social revolutionary front of the oppressed against the capitalist system, all armies and militias, against wars and inter bourgeois conflicts whenever that will be.

In such circumstances, if we cannot fight directly against the war, but we can at least, direct our actions and prioritize our tasks to develop and reinforce the anarchist movement through our involvement within the social movements of resistance and struggles.

Our war is the Self organizing of our struggles and of our resistances, it’s the social revolution and this cannot be achieved through any other methods like armed struggle, regime changes, parliamentary system and the political parties’ power plots. The history and the experience of the past struggles shows us that the social resistance and the social revolution rely on the revolutionary conscientiousness that emerges from the daily struggle of oppressed people in the society. We see ourselves as part of the same class movement and we are taking part in it to achieve our historical dreams. when we are not strong enough to the level of being able to resist the war as an autonomous force, we instead can form an attacking combative resistance against the state on other social struggles.

It’s clear that even an armed resistance without having a clear class conscientiousness behind it, it will eventually transform to another form of domination over people or at
least it will be controlled under the influence of the state for its benefits. The defending of a liberated place or territory although it might not be right, we believe without any hesitation that defending it by weapons is our duty.

In line of the above for the present time we believe the below steps are necessary as immediate actions:

– General strike wherever is possible that can paralyze the movement of economy and military and sabotage the war mechanism.

– blockading transportation of oil and gas to Turkey as both are the reasons for many of the current wars.

– Boycotting all Turkish goods, products and its companies wherever they are. replacing those goods by supporting and relying on local goods and products and trying to set up cooperatives and communes.

– Boycotting the Turkish state media channels and its culture centers wherever they are.

– Boycotting traveling with the Turkish airlines and holidays to Turkey.

– Calling on police, solders and Peshamarga to take the mutiny actions and to put their weapons down, leaving there barricades and the war fronts.

– Encouraging people to put attack the Turkish military bases and its companies in Kurdistan.

– Self-organizing and preparing for any potential situation that may happen in the future, whether it is resistance or anything else.

– Collecting the basic necessities and providing support to displaced people from their land and support them to flee from this war.

– Broadcasting and writing about the crimes that the Turkish military commit, including killing innocent people, livestock and destroying villages and environment.

– Calling for a mass uprising in Kurdistan against the current KRG power as they are our direct class enemy and our exploiters, to support people and take part however and whatever we can.

Kurdish-speaking Anarchist Forum 19th April 2022
http://www.anarkistan.net
http://www.issuu.com/anarkistan
http://www.twitter.com/anarkistan
http://www.facebook.com/sekoy.anarkistan
http://www.facebook.com/groups/Pertuky.Anarky
anarkistan[a]riseup.net

Statement by our brother regarding the War in Ukraine.

From Etniko Bandido Infoshop. by e-mail.

Well my friend now that the war has begun I feel prepared to give you my thoughts on this both as a Ukrainian, an American, and a committed anarchist.

Today I am sad. I am sad because the seeds of this war, like the seeds of all wars, have been sown not by common people and free individuals but always through the exploitation of others’ which is ultimately amplified by the state.

This was the tragic outcome of the maidan 2014 revolution, which again demonstrates that the true path for anarchism is not through the violent overthrow of the state and massacres in the street but the peaceful building of alternative systems based upon mutual aid and cooperation, and through ever-expanding networks that ultimately peacefully lead to the ending of exploitation through courage and self/community/earth-defense, not aggression or the atrocity of war.

I am sad because the land where my family was formed is once again under attack by a colonizer who, like all colonizers seeks to control, manipulate, and exploit both people and resources. Ukraine lies as the anchor between two continents and has, historically, been considered a wild and untamed place because it is a “borderland”. That spirit existed long before someone thought to critically analyze capitalism, the state, or develop any sense of politics.

The situation for anarchists, as has been our struggle for centuries, is always always to defend each other, other working people, and those suffering from the state – which includes economic exploitation under state-sanctioned private capitalism or state communism. The moment now in Ukraine is not for theoretical discussion but for action and solidarity. Let states fight their wars against each other, our struggle is always to fight for the people!

In this moment the objective is clear: to identify our comrades in Ukraine and listen to them. But beyond that, our objective is to condemn aggression by any invader or colonizer. I condemn the invasion with the same force that I condemn America’s bloody wars, our disgusting racist society, and continued propping up of capitalists and dictators, including in your country. We must all stand together, always, and help wherever we can, always to defend ourselves and our communities from these forces.

We must also speak the truth, and we can all see what the truth is here: that an imperial, colonizing power Russia is attempting to retake their prize colonial possession. Now as an American, I am both frustrated and angry. I am feeling this way because in many ways, this country has laid the groundwork for Russian action here, and remains the main exporter of state violence in the world (even before we count this country’s long history of military conquests and capitalist interventions, just on the sales of weapons alone America is the biggest exporter and maker of implements of death in human history).

I do not believe we would be in the situation we are in now had this country not spent 20 years attempting to colonize large parts of the middle east but that may be another topic. Living through the last four years under the Trump regime has given every American a taste of what the slide toward fascism would look and feel like here.

America is currently in a state of cold civil war. Political violence in the country is scattered but increasing. The outright fascist elements who remain largely in control of the Republican party have implemented certain voting laws that will set them up for gains in our Congress when we have elections next year. We see that there is a new alliance emerging between Russian and American far right during the last four years, and that one of the effects of that has been the implementation of Russian-style media propaganda by right wing news outlets in America.

However, because there is also protections for press freedom, inevitably these propaganda displays are countered and ridiculed, which of course only serves to reinforce the cold civil war. If the goal of Russia was to ensure that America would destroy itself from within, or at least become incapable of offering an international deterrent to well-defined authoritarian regimes, they have succeeded.

Living in America is living in a country full of anxieties, where every person is filled with worry they are one step away from losing either their position in society or economic security. It is in the final stages of capitalism. However, we are also seeing some seeds of true peoples movements emerge. Unionization and worker control is up for the first time in 70 years. There seems to be more radical interest among the youth. There is still time.

The bottom line is, the situation in Ukraine is another tragic example of how war, which is the ultimate expression of state power, destroys life and the natural world, which itself is the ultimate expression of the union between individual and community and earth.

Red and Black Telly roundup.














‘How Labour Governed’ – 1945-1951: Event from: Bristol Radical History Festival.

Event from: Bristol Radical History Festival

1945: The war in Europe has just ended and the Labour Party wins a resounding general election victory. What follows is celebrated on much of the left as a period of progressive government which should inspire us to build a fairer society.

However, at the time, critics pointed out that every socialist principle had been betrayed by politicians. In fact this was really a period much like any other, marked by continued militarism, colonialist suppression, racism, austerity and reactionary politics. The Syndicalist Worker’s Federation outlined their criticisms in the pamphlet How Labour governed and we reflect on their pamphlet to examine the legacy of the post-war Labour Government.

If you’d like to download a copy in printer’s pairs, click here: Prints: size, A5, double sided, B&W. Text retrieved from a scanned copy of the original 1960 SWF edition, which can be viewed here.

Red and Black Telly roundup.
















Red and Black Telly roundup.








Red and Black Telly roundup.








Fascism and Antifascism. Part three. Populist fascism: perpetual counter-revolution.

From ‘The Authority of the Boot-maker’ by Mal Content.

“What is this liberal rubbish?
Are you some kind of mug?
Don’t talk to me of ‘free speech’
For murdering fascist thugs

We remember Mosley
And how Cable Street folk fought him
When we see the fash
We let the boots do the talking”

– Oi Polloi

Now I started writing this chapter in 2012, then I paused it to see what would happen, and quite a lot has happened since. Ten years on, Britain has the most explicitly right-wing authoritarian government in its history, suppressing dissent by any means at its disposal. It is supported by computerised surveillance and detection, a police force as brutal, sexist and racist as ever, tamed media and a judiciary who mostly went to the same schools as the executive. The entire island is in counter-insurgency mode.

We’ve seen the rise and fall of the English Defence League and the United Kingdom Independence Party, the election of far-right governments around the world. The United States elected a reactionary-comic television presenter as its 45th President, who clowned around for five years making his office even more of a laughing stock while we wondered if anyone had the sense to disconnect the nuclear button.

In 1945, after six years of war against Nazism, a British labour government permitted the fascists detained under Regulation 18b to resume their activities, and gave them a police escort wherever they went, as unsurprisingly they had no popular constituency whatsoever. They were joined by Axis prisoners of war who were supposedly being rehabilitated. Some of those returned to Germany and maintaining their British contacts, plotted a fourth Reich, under cover of a crank spiritualist group called Ostara. Recently demobbed British Jews reacted with disbelief:

“I had been in the merchant navy, survived two torpedo attacks on the Atlantic convoys, and I came back home to Amhurst Road, Hackney to hugs and kisses. My mother went out to make some tea and my dad said, The bastards are back – Mosley and his Blackshirts

– Morris Beckman, antifascist: to ‘The Guardian’ 2009.

Apart from Spain and Portugal, which retained fascist governments, the only country in Europe where it was legal to glorify Hitler and the holocaust was Britain. Mosley took advantage of this to publish a German-language paper and antisemitic propaganda for distribution by right-wing British service personnel in the occupation zone. After three years of that, Mosley again combined the splinters into the Union Movement, and embarked on an electoral campaign.

“Going from a cinema showing newsreel of piles of Jewish men, women and children being bulldozed into lime pits in the concentration camps, and then passing an outdoor fascist meeting or seeing swastikas whitewashed on the walls of Jewish homes and synagogues affected these ex-servicemen with emotion ranging from choleric anger to a cold hard desire to kill the perpetrators.”

– Morris Beckman: ‘The 43 Group’

The conflict in the British Working Class was inflamed on the one hand, by newsreels of the holocaust, and on the other, by the civil war in Palestine that preceded the establishment of the state of Israel.

“Above all, it was the unfolding extent of the concentration camp horrors that really unhinged us all. It imbued every ex servicemen with a sick sense of shame that no action had ever been taken to try to save the camp inmates. Air crews had no doubt that specialised attacks could have taken out gas chambers, furnaces and SS barracks. Ex-paratroopers and Special Forces veterans argued that drops into and around the camps could have saved many, but nothing was ever attempted, …”

                (ibid.)

You have to keep in mind that Churchill had been an anti-Semite when Hitler was still in short trousers, and so was post-war foreign secretary Ernest Bevin. Bevin was an enthusiast of the ‘Truman Doctrine’ against Soviet influence, so the pre-war squabble between socialist and Communist internationals was still playing into fascist hands. A dedicated imperialist, Bevin opposed Indian independence and set about re-establishing Dutch control in Indonesia, using British, Indian and even Japanese troops to wrest the islands from the indigenous people who had recently liberated them. He was also concerned to limit Jewish emigration to Palestine, declaring to the press on 1st March 1946: “Jews must not try to get to the head of the queue”, sparking riots in Tel Aviv that left six civilians dead, shot by British troops. Some Jewish soldiers refused to clash with their co-religionists and were quietly posted elsewhere.

“Watching the Royal Navy stop Greek and Turkish bucket ships crammed with the sick and broken survivors of the camps and the Pathé Gazette and Movietone films of these same derelicts being incarcerated behind barbed wire in Cyprus, seemed to plumb the very depths of inhumanity.”

(ibid.)

Just as they had been before the war, the fascists were driven off the streets by autonomous direct action. The ‘43 Group’,

Read the rest of it.