Ways of Life 3: Indigenous Anarchism

This is Africa

African forms of democracy and egalitarianism exists independent of, and predates, modern Western progressive social movements. It is time we revived their histories from systematic erasure, because they may hold the key to our collective future.

Editor’s note: This article is the third in a three-part series investigating different ways of organising human life on earth. The first and second articles in the series can be read here and here, respectively. Happy reading!

Indigenous Democracy

An epiphany of cosmic proportions dawned upon me during a taxi ride from Kampala International airport to the city last year.  My incidental travel companion was the Ugandan filmmaker Dilman Dila; and in his unhurried, quiet, and measured tone, this is what he said:

“Of the 53 major “nations“ in the region today known as Uganda (name arbitrarily taken from one of them, Buganda, by the British), only 10 featured any kind of hierarchical political structure. The majority of them, with population size from 1 to 3 million, lived in entirely egalitarian organizations, voluntary cooperatives, and share/gift economies, without centralized political power, high levels of inequality, or warfare.”

The filmmaker continued, “for instance,

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Spain 1936, Ethiopia 2021: the fight against fascism continues …

CNT-AIT Fr

Leaflet distributed at the Vernet Concentration Camp on the occasion of Heritage Days. Because memory is useless if it does not highlight today’s struggles …

Eighty years ago, at the concentration camp Vernet d’Ariège (France), Tecle HAGOS died. The plaque on his grave reads « August 19, 1941, Ethiopian ». Not much is known about his life, except that he was probably part of a group of a dozen students from the Horn of Africa who had traveled to Spain in summer 1936. The announcement of a Revolution, made by workers and peasants, ordinary people which had triumphed over Fascism on July 19, 1936, gave them some hope, they who had seen this same Fascism seize their land in Africa few months before.

Were they Amhara, Tigrayan, Oromo, or some other Ethiopian ethnicity? We do not know and frankly we are not interested to know. Tecle Hagos and his companions had not come to give their youth for Catalonia, Aragon or Andalusia, not even for Spain, but they came for ridding Humanity of Fascism. And also because they shared with the Spanish revolutionaries a universal idea: that of establishing Liberty through Equality and Solidarity.

There, in this Horn of Europe, these sons of the Horn of Africa had shared the libertarian hopes of this people who began to dream aloud. They had also shared its disillusionment, once the politicians had regained their power in the Spanish Republic. Like the anarchists of the CNT-AIT and the militants of the POUM, some Ethiopian freedom fighters were accused without any evidence by the Communists of « treason » and eventually were slandered and also knew the the republican jails …

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Wessex stall at Increase The Peace Community Festival, Sunday 29th August.

Wessex Solidarity will have a literature stall at Increase The Peace Community Festival in Bournemouth this Sunday. Our first outing for a while with lots of new pamphlets. Freedom Press are there also.

At Oakmedian club house, Meyric Park, Bournemouth BH2 6LJ

Free Entry from 1 p.m. till midnight, with Live music, food and other attractions.

Supporting International Care Network and Hope For Food.

facebook event

The Extemporaneous and a National Initiative

Enlace Zapatista.

ZAPATISTA SIXTH COMMISSION.
Mexico.

July 2021.

To the adherents of the Declaration for Life:
To the Europe from Below and to the Left:
To the National and International Sixth:
To the National Indigenous Congress-Indigenous Governing Council:
To the Networks of Resistance and Rebellion:
To the Collective «Llegó la Hora de los Pueblos«:

 

From: Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.

Compañeras, compañeroas, compañeros:

Sisters, brothers, and hermanoas:

I greet you in the name of the children, women, them, elders and men of the Zapatista communities, and I communicate to you the following:

First.- We already have a strong Zapatista airborne company of 177 Zapatistas ready. It is made up in its totality by natives of Mayan roots, from the Cho’ol, Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Tojolabal and Castilian languages. We were born in the geography called Mexico. Our ancestors were born and died in these lands. As the Mexican State does not recognize our identity and origin, and tells us that we are “extemporaneous” (so says the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, that we are “extemporaneous” Mexicans), we have decided to baptize  this unit of Listening and Word [Escucha y Palabra] as “The Extemporaneous.”

As we saw in the dictionaries, “extemporaneous” means “that it is  inopportune, inconvenient”, or “that it is inappropriate for the time in which it happens.” In other words, that we are inopportune, inconvenient and inappropriate.

Never before have we been so adequately defined. We are happy that at last

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Translation of a letter from a Cuban Anarchist after the protests

bentley

There is a lot of turmoil that cannot be fit into a left-right schema. It is a people who are discovering their capacity to be more than a mere mass of support for a retrograde and cynical oligarchy which uses the words “revolution” and “anti-imperialism” to legitimize an ordinary despotism hardly different from any other tyranny. They are a people tired of “revolutionary” and “socialist” inequalities and privileges.

Cuba, in addition to being a museum of the global left, is a society with a state, police, repressors, privileged & marginalized peoples and a bureaucratic military oligarchy as greedy as any other. The fact we’ve had an enlightened and humanistic despot does not excuse him, nor his lasting heirs, from their despotism. A significant portion of the people say they’ve had enough. The American blockade must be lifted, the monopoly of the Castro oligarchy must end. It will be complicated & surely “impossible”, but that’s the most honest perspective I’m seeing.

Our companion Leonardo Romero is currently missing; he is an enemy of the Cuban state for having publicly written on a sign “Socialism yes, repression no!” His disappearance is the true face of this government.

original text at http://www.polemicacubana.fr/?p=15774

CHILE: COMMUNICATION FROM ANARCHIST PRISONER MÓNICA CABALLERO

via: anarquia.info Translated by Act for freedom now!

In the last days of the first week of June, the Gendarmería de Chile (Genchi) carried out a massive transfer of prisoners from the Cárcel de Alta seguridad (CAS) to the prison of Rancagua, capital of the O’Higgins region, 87 kilometres south of Santiago.

The prisoners include the Anarchists and Subversives: Juan Aliste Vega, Marcelo Villarroel, Mauricio Hernández Norambuena, Juan Flores, Joaquín García and Francisco Solar.

The transfer of these prisoners was motivated by modifications in the infrastructure of the CAS, which will last approximately one year. Once the works are finished, the prisoners will be returned to the prison according to the information provided by GENCHI, meanwhile my comrades will be away from their affective and political environment. In this way, not only is the prisoner being punished, but also their friends, comrades and family members.

It is also important to emphasize that in the territory dominated by the Chilean State, free transit between regions is not allowed due to measures for the prevention of the spreading of Covid 19.

In the Metropolitan region there are at least three prisons to which they could have taken my comrades, perhaps the powerful took advantage of this transfer to isolate and further segregate the prisoners, perhaps none of the nearby prisons meets the security conditions to guard high-risk prisoners, or it could simply be just another form of revenge.

The transfer may be justified with this and other arguments. What is clear is that no movement of power is haphazard. Each change in the infrastructure of the prison, as well as the transfer of prisoners, must be carried out with caution and detail.

On the one hand, the possible changes they are making in the CAS, cannot bode well for the prisoners. I could make endless speculations on possible new control measures and I would probably be coming up short.

To foresee what could change in the CAS, it must be taken into account that this prison is not and was not conceived like any other, the CAS is the prison of Democracy. This was devised using the German and Irish model in the fight against revolutionary organizations.

In the year 94 ‘it was inaugurated as an unprecedented and good prison complex in which it was tried to implement a strict internal regime that contemplated visits through call centres, one hour in the courtyard, among others.

In addition, the prison is practically imperceptible from the outside, so achieves greater isolation and invisibility.

From another perspective it is not clear under what prison conditions or regime the prisoners will be transferred.

La Cárcel de Rancagua is a concessioned prison, meaning that a large part of its operation depends on external companies, unlike the CAS, which depended almost entirely on State entities. This translates for example, among other things, that the prison food is brought in by an external company such as Sodexo, and does not meet even the most minimal nutritional conditions. In addition to this, in concession prisons the entry of parcels by friends and family is restricted in practically every kind of food, books, etc.

Currently all the transferred prisoners are being kept locked in their cells for 24 hours, to be continued for fourteen days due to possible contagion of Covid, a completely unjustified measure since they would not have contact with any other prisoner who is not from the same module, nor would they have contact with the rest of the prison population. Faced with this scenario of total isolation and a new prison regime, the prisoners have begun a liquid hunger strike, demanding an end to the conditions of total confinement and improvements in their quality of life.

Among the mobilized prisoners are the anarchist and subversive comrades whose health condition could become more complex, as it is just over a month since they ended a fifty-day hunger strike.

With these words I make a call to all anti-prison, antagonistic, anti-authoritarian individuals and groups to be aware of the situation of the anarchist and subversive comrades transferred to Rancagua prison, our prisoner comrades can never feel alone.

Hand outstretched to the comrades
Closed fist to the enemy
Active combative solidarity

Mónica Caballero Sepúlveda, Anarchist prisoner
First days of June of 2021

Newsletter from PSC Soton

See newsletter from PSC Soton

Dear PSC Soton Subscriber

I hope you are keeping safe and well. And thank you for your concern over the plight of the Palestinians.

Just a bit about us. Palestine Solidarity Southampton campaigns for Justice for Palestine. We are part of the bigger national Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Everyone of all ethnicities and of all faiths or none is welcome to join us. We are not part of any political party.

As well as raising awareness of the horror of apartheid legislation and ongoing ethnic cleansing that the people of Palestinian are subject to, and have been for over 70 years, we raise funding to campaign against businesses that profit from oppression, against the government who facilitate the sale of arms to Israel, and against institutions like pension funds who invest in companies aiding and abetting Israel’s human rights abuses.

However, the cause of these problems, the illegal occuption of parts of Palestine by Israel, the ongoing enforced ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people from their homes and farms where they and their familes have lived for generations, and the apartheid legislation that denies them equal rights, these injustices all continue.

And so, we still need to support the people of Palestine.

Thank you for your support Andy on behalf of PSC Southampton

PSC SOTON SPONSORED WALK Brockenhurst to Lymington Sunday 20th June 2021 11.00am

If you would like to support Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and the National and local Palestine Solidarity Compaign, we are organising our annual fundraising sponsored walk on Sunday 20th June. You can join us or just sponsor us, whatever is best for you.

Leaving from Brockenhurst Station (south side) at 11.00am, it goes through the woodland and meadow path and minor roads to Lymington, a route of 5 – 6 miles, taking in the two historic churches of Brockenhurst and Boldre. We will also meet at Southampton train station first as well at 10.15am so if you would like to come you could join us there if you like.

Please bring a packed lunch, drink and sensible footwear for possible mud near Brockenhurst. We walk whatever the weather so rainwear may be appropriate. We carry the flag of Palestine.

IFA Communiqué – Mayday 2021

International Anarchist Statement on May Day

Sifuna Zonke, zabalaza.net

The ZACF is pleased to co-sign this statement along with anarchist groups around the world to commemorate May Day.

May 1st, 1886, a wide-ranging strike started in the United States demanding an eight-hour working day. The journey’s slogan was “Eight hours’ labour, Eight hours’ recreation, Eight hours’ rest”, propagandised since the mid-19th century and through which the labour movement struggled to seize power from Capital and dispute worker’s time for life, culture, and enjoyment.

The strike was prepared in advance. The American labour movement decided on it in 1884. To carry it out, hundreds of meetings and rallies were held, funds were collected, at times when union organising was illegal. Manifestos and newspapers were circulated encouraging workers to join the planned strike.

International Anarchist Statement on May Day

May 1st, 1886, a wide-ranging strike started in the United States demanding an eight-hour working day. The journey’s slogan was “Eight hours’ labour, Eight hours’ recreation, Eight hours’ rest”, propagandised since the mid-19th century and through which the labour movement struggled to seize power from Capital and dispute worker’s time for life, culture, and enjoyment.

The strike was prepared in advance. The American labour movement decided on it in 1884. To carry it out, hundreds of meetings and rallies were held, funds were collected, at times when union organising was illegal. Manifestos and newspapers were circulated encouraging workers to join the planned strike.

Yet the struggle for an eight-hour working day was not conceived as a mere reform. It was permeated with hope for a better tomorrow, a struggle which in turn made its way to another definite struggle for an egalitarian society, free of all oppression. Neither was it understood that this struggle should pass through congress, nor through the courts, but rather that it should succeed by means of direct-action lead by the popular masses.  The working class distrusted those deceitful institutions that meant for them a source of repression and hunger.

On May 1st, 1886, the strike proved to be massive, with demonstrations across the country, with its core at the populous industrial city of Chicago. There, police repression was strongly felt, as well as workers’ resistance; confrontations took place,  resulting in several dead and injured, including one worker who died in front of the McCormick industrial plant, where there were many scabs.

Challenged with fierce repression, workers called for a demonstration on May 4th at Haymarket Square. During the event, an unknown person threw an explosive device, in response to repression by the police. This instigated the police’s brutal response, launching a campaign of persecution, imprisonment and torture against workers, of which eight frontline militants and anarchist union leaders were crushed by the full burden of bourgeoise justice, after being convicted of conspiracy.

The court case was an anti-working class set up, just as only a few years later another two prominent anarchists, Sacco and Vanzetti, would be set up as well. Testimonies and evidence were fabricated, bringing down the bourgeoisie’s resentment on the working-class militancy. Even the prosecutor, Julius Grinnell, himself phrased it as follows: “Law is on trial. Anarchy is on trial… Gentlemen of the jury, convict these men, make examples of them, hang them and you save our institutions, our society”.

The following year, in November 1887, the bourgeoise law sentenced some of the accused anarchists to several years of imprisonment, and the others to death by hanging. Before the court, Adolph  Fischer declared:

“If I am to die on account of being an Anarchist, on account of my love for liberty, fraternity and equality, then I will not remonstrate. If death is the penalty for our love of the freedom of the human race, then I say openly I have forfeited my life; but a murderer I am not”.

Since then, May 1st (or May Day) is commemorated as the International Workers’ Day. First commemorated in 1890, May Day is commemorated as a day of workers’ strikes against Capital, as an occasion for tributes to the martyrs of the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago and to fight for the 8-hour workday. As a result of strikes and tenacious struggle, the 8-hour demand was slowly conquered by the working class in different countries, as it is the case of Uruguay and New Zealand before 1915, or in Spain with the Canadenca Strike in 1919.

What May Day means today

The 8-hour working day has already been conquered as a right in many countries, and May 1st is recognized as an international day of commemoration by the labour movement across the globe. However, today millions of oppressed people in the world still labour for long and exhausting working days in dire conditions, accidents still occur in factories and workshops, resulting in dreadful tragedies, as we have seen happening in Bangladesh numerous times. Transnational Capital has disproportionally spread production all over the planet, impoverishing the living and working conditions of entire populations in peripheral regions and countries, threatening, on top of it, the very existence of the planet.

Therefore, the demand for the 8-hour working day is still a current and valid one. And, above all, the society dreamed of and fought for by the Chicago Martyrs and generations of militants and workers is more valid than ever, for they carried in their hearts wishes for social justice for all humanity, knowing that the struggle against Capitalism and the State was decisive, as it is still today. They knew the oppressors and their institutions are on one side, and the oppressed classes on the other, those who bleed before machines, who starve, who are unemployed, whom the capitalist system despises, but who will build a fair new world.

Like those who took part in the Chicago strikes, we the oppressed know today that justice cannot be achieved within the system, that the current social order brings us, who depend on our everyday labour to live, nothing good. Capitalism only brings misery, hunger, violence and death. This is what the system has brought us for centuries, yet in the past thirty years it has advanced technologically in a grotesque manner.  Capitalism has started wars to control resources, generating chaos in countries and turning them into “failed states”, destructing their entire productive systems, and displacing populations, turning them into refugees or economic migrants desperately looking for jobs and welfare. The list of catastrophes generated by Capital’s uncontrolled ambition in its imperialist arrangement is a long, complicated, one.

It is the oppressed classes across the world who suffer the consequences of the reproduction of the capitalist system and its need to exploit nature and human labour, it is us who must hold high the banners of struggle of the Chicago Martyrs and their dreams of justice and freedom.

What Organised Anarchism must do

Anarchism, the ideology professed by the Chicago Martyrs, has not died, nor has it disappeared, as many belonging to the various ideological and political currents have claimed. On the contrary, Anarchism today has the power to prove its proposal is valid and useful for humanity, that its social approach is valid for present struggles and not a “relic of the past”. The Anarchist commitment, which aims at building a society where power, property, and the means of self-subsistence are socialized, and where collective freedom is an essential component of social order, is current and valid today.

This proposal cannot take place overnight, it takes patience, tenacity, and determination to build a different society to promote people’s organisation and support people’s struggles. We must improve this proposal day by day. This is possible through social insertion in the heart of society, in the popular and working classes.

It is of special interest for Organised Anarchism to have an influence on the segments of society where the oppressed struggle, particularly on workers, strengthening and developing union organisation, and the fight for better wages and working conditions. Also, it is of interest of Organised Anarchism to weave these struggles with those of other oppressed peoples and construct a strategy around the realization of a Front of the Oppressed, advancing in the creation of greater spaces for self-management and class independence, regarding what we call the construction of popular power (or power from below).

All rights and benefits belonging to the people have been fought for and won through struggle. The ruling classes do not give anything away for free; only through solidarity and the militant struggle of people’s organisation in unity have we guaranteed victories for the oppressed. In that struggle Organised Anarchism has a place, with our strategy, our proposals, and our methodology, which emphasizes the creation of popular power and not that of a political party, as vanguardists often do.

The yearnings for justice and freedom of the Chicago Martyrs will roam the streets again this coming May Day, together along the oppressed of the world, in their struggle for a better future. Their dreams live on in the struggle of all people, all across the globe, for bread and dignity, but also for a fully egalitarian and fair society.

LONG LIVE THE CHICAGO MARTYRS!
LONG LIVE THE INTERNATIONAL WORKERS DAY!
Long Live Anarchism, Long Live Revolution
LET’S STRENGTHEN ORGANISED ANARCHISM!
FOR SOCIALISM AND FREEDOM!
Long live those who fight!

☆ Federación Anarquista Uruguaya – FAU
 (Uruguay)
☆ Federación Anarquista de Rosario – FAR (Argentina)
☆ Organización Anarquista de Tucumán – OAT (Argentina)
☆ Embat – Organització Llibertària de Catalunya (Catalonia)
☆ Devrimci Anarşist Federasyon – DAF (Turkey)
☆ Αναρχική Ομοσπονδία – Anarchist Federation (Greece)
☆ Organización Anarquista de Córdoba – OAC (Argentina)
☆ Die Plattform – Anarchakommunistische Organisation (Germany)
☆ Federación Anarquista Santiago – FAS (Chile)
☆ Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement – AWSM (Aotearoa/New Zealand)
☆ Coordenação Anarquista Brasileira – CAB (Brazil)
☆ Libertäre Aktion (Switzerland)
☆ Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front – ZACF (South Africa)
☆ Alternativa Libertaria – AL/fdca (Italy)
☆ Grupo Libertario Vía Libre (Colombia)
☆ Workers Solidarity Movement – WSM (Irland)
☆ Anarchist Communist Group – ACG (Great Britain)
☆ Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group – MACG (Australia)
☆ Organisation Socialiste Libertaire – OSL (Switzerland)
☆ Union Communiste Libertaire (France)

“Only the people can save the people”- O.C.S.S.

Voices in movement

This is a communiqué from the Southern Sierra Peasant Organization (Organización Campesina de la Sierra del Sur (O.C.S.S.) released on February 24, 2021, from Tepetixtla, Coyuca de Benítez, Guerrero, Mexico. Translation by Shantal Monserrat Lopez Victoria from Pozol.org.

“The new Mexican government is an effort to revitalize capitalism,” O.C.S.S. Guerrero, Mexico

O.C.S.S. TO THE CIPOG-EZ, CIN-CIG AND THE CRAC-PC-PF.

To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Ejercito Zapatista de Liberación Nacional)
To the National Indigenous Congress
To the Indigenous Council of Government
To the people of Mexico and the world

We men and women of the rural towns of the Costa Grande of the state of Guerrero, were raised and taught the history of dignity by Generals Morelos, Guerrero, Zapata and our unforgettable compas and teachers Lucio Cabañas Barrientos and Professor Genaro Vázquez.

Twenty-six years after

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