In February/March this year, the AF and Anarchist Black Cross groups organised an infotour with the Belarussian ABC and our Belarusian contacts in the International of Anarchist Federations. The tour was to build solidarity with anarchists imprisoned by the regime. http://www.afed.org.uk/news-and-events/334-belarus-abc-infotour-2013-initial-uk-dates-in-february-a-march.html
We are very happy to announce that Aliaksandar Frantskievich has just been released from prison.
Aliaksandr Frantskevich, who served his term in No. 22 Ivatsevichy correctional colony, was released early in the morning of 3rd September. His mother and activists from the opposition organisation met him outside the prison. He will go to Navapolatsk to register with the police.
Video of the release: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fut_TU9RKNI
For same video link and photos see Autonomous Action (Russia & ex-soviet union anarchist website): https://avtonom.org/en/news/political-prisoner-aliaksandr-frantskevich-released
This leaves five young men in jail for their convictions. They are inside for us; we are outside for them.
Visit http://libcom.org/tags/biographies for a vast number of historical anarchist biographies and autobiographies including that of Séraphine Pajaud, French anarchist and champion of atheism, anti-militarism and women's liberation (born 1858, died after 1934), published for the first time on 3rd July 2013.
Looking for more? Check out Paul Avrich's book 'Anarchist Voices' - reviewed by Kate Sharpley Library): http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/41nsr4
Note that Kate Sharpley Library publish a good number of biographies and autobiographies in pamphlet format and some shorter pieces are online: http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/
July/August 2013 RESISTANCE is out. Contents: UPRISING! Coming to a democracy near you (Eqypt, Turkey, Brazil, Slovenia), Whistle Blowers, Industrial Roundup (Bridgewater postal strike, Runcorn building workers wildcat, Teachers’ Strike, Brighton refuse-worker update), Spanish Anarchist Prisoner Support, Clément Méric anti-fascist demo.
UPRISING! Coming to a democracy near you
The past months have seen huge uprisings on the streets of Brazil, Turkey and Slovenia. In Brazil, protests began over bus fare prices and cost of tickets for the coming World Cup. In Turkey, residents wanted to save trees. In Slovenia, the issue was a speed radar scheme. These seemingly small issues were just the last straw. In Turkey, the real problem is an increasingly Islamist state. In Brazil, poverty is the issue. In Slovenia, it is political corruption. And all populations are angry at the growing economic crisis and forced austerity.
In each case, the state clamped down on peaceful protest at an early stage, and with unprecedented violence. Tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets have been used. People have died and there have been mass arrests and detentions. The protesters bravely refuse to be forced off the streets. On one level, it seems like the Arab Spring has spread to other continents.
But there is a crucial difference. Unlike the dictatorships of the Arab Spring, these countries are supposedly democracies. Their governments were voted in. Whilst anarchists reject such ‘representative democracy’ in favour of ‘direct democracy’, it is nonetheless the case that these are countries in which, in theory, people regularly get to elect their rulers.
Of course it is not unusual for mass protests to take place in modern democracies, nor for states to use ‘non-lethal’ and even lethal weapons against them. The British state in Northern Ireland is an example close to home. But it is not common, and 2013 has seen an escalation in the level of violence by ‘democratic’ states.
We also can see that these democracies were well prepared to attack their electorate. What else is an arsenal of tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon for? Which other states have these weapons in reserve, waiting for a demonstration that won’t fizzle out quietly?
As austerity bites harder here, and the recently announced measures against the unwaged and public employees kick in, the working class in Britain will have to mobilise more demonstrations that will hold their ground. Then we’ll see what our state is prepared to do to us.
Read more in Resistance bulletin, issue 153, July/August 2013
A Solidarity Statement with Anarchists and Anti-Fascists marching against the murderers of Clément Méric
This weekend, Saturday 22rd and Sunday 23th June, will see huge anti-fascist demonstrations throughout France. The participants will be making known their anger at the murder of the much loved 18-year old Parisian antifascist student, Clément Méric (see article below). The message will be ‘Never Forgive, Never Forget’. This comment is not only about the death of their comrade, but a comment about fascism itself, both as it is manifested at the moment in France, and as it has manifested itself historically and in many countries.
The attack in which Clément Méric died has shocked people in France more widely than anarchists and antifascists. But this mainstream response has been unhelpful in fighting the far-right. It seems that left-of-centre liberals and reformists and also the ‘socialist’ government itself are taking over commemorations as far as they can, and claiming Clément as one of their own, diluting the message of militant antifascism. This is insulting to his memory and to the feelings of those close to him. But more than that, it justifies the state proscription, announced by President Hollande, of the far-right group that many consider responsible. This is not the way to defeat fascism. It must be defeated by the deeds and words of antifascists and of the groups and communities threatened by fascism. When has state repression ever killed an idea or a belief successfully? It will create martyrs as the right resists the new law. The way to be rid of fascism is to work every day towards a society in which its ideas become irrelevant and working class people of all kinds feel united in struggle: against the state and the capitalist system; against neo-colonialist wars and the militarisation of our society; against racism, sexism, homophobia, and all other bigotry that attacks who we are and how we want to live.
Some on the authoritarian left will support the outlawing of fascist groups, on the basis that these will now be less visible and less vocal. Libertarian communists, such as ourselves, oppose attempts at state censorship. But, because the goal of fascism is to silence the voices of others, it must be denied a platform nonetheless. So we deny it a voice through community-level action. This is because, if the authoritarian right is silenced primarily by an act of the state, similar laws can be used against anyone seeking change without going through the state.
In this specific situation, the French state and media choose to stress that the fascist group in question considers itself ‘revolutionary’. Its idea of ‘revolution’ is a million miles from ours. But if ‘revolution’ because a dirty word, something that decent people should oppose, and if, like the term ‘communist’, it loses all positive meaning, we will find ourselves fighting an even harder battle for the transformation of society along anarchist-communist lines.
Fascism thrives in societies suffering economic crisis. It is no surprise that it is now more visible in France, where it is using the recent legalisation of gay marriage as an excuse to promote bigotry. In Britain, the far-right is becoming more visible too. Here it uses the horrible murder of Lee Rigby to promote violence against Muslims in general, including children. Homophobia and racism are symptoms of societies in which some people feel marginalised, ignored, and abandoned by the state, and have nothing to resort to but hatred of other groups. We have to change this analysis with our ideas and our actions, by creating positive, examples of how society can organise itself better, to benefit all of us. But we are not pacifists. We want to win hearts and minds but we will not let fascism undermine the equality and freedom that humanity deserves. NO PASARAN!
Fachos hors de nos vies! Fascists out of our lives!
International Secretariat - Anarchist Federation (Britain) - http://www.afed.org.uk
19th June 2013
StopG8 Statement on Protests and Police Violence 11 June 2013
StopG8 held a “Carnival Against Capitalism” in the West End of London today (11 June), demonstrating against 100 murderous banks, corporations, “dens of the rich” and other hiding places of power in the run up to the G8 Summit.
The carnival went ahead despite extreme pre-emptive violence from the Metropolitan and City Police, which caused a number of protesters to be injured. The police surrounded the StopG8 Social Centre on Beak Street, W1 from 10am, and then broke in through the front doors and from the roof later in the morning. At the demonstrations starting at 12 noon in Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus, police snatch squads violently arrested and assaulted more demonstrators.
Updates on StopG8 website: http://network23.org/stopg8/
- WE ARE WINNING: assessment of Taksim actions by Revolutionist Anarchist Action / Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet (DAF) in Meydan Newspaper - 12-June-2013
- We are winning! Taksim Square reports from Revolutionist Anarchist Action (DAF) in Istanbul, Turkey - June 2013
- The far right and the street: Fascists murder anti-fascist in Paris
- Anarchist Federation report from the 10 year Balkan Anarchist Bookfair, Ljubljana, Slovenia on 24-26 May 2013
- Joint statements, radio and video from the Balkan Anarchist Bookfair 24-26 May 2013
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