International

Anarchists and the right to choose

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We envisage an anarchist society as a society where people are free to make choices about their own lives. We picture a society where decisions are made at the lowest effective level. For women, this includes the decision whether or not to become pregnant, whether or not to remain pregnant, whether or not to have children.

About the Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists

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Anarchists are constantly thinking about how society is and how it could be. We strive towards the ideal of a free and democratic society. We know that, in order to get there, it will be necessary to tear down the present authoritarian system of government. Our struggle for freedom throws up many areas of controversy and debate. One of these has always been, and always will be, how do we get to a revolution? How do we organise for change? An important contribution to this debate was the Organisational Platform of the Libertarian Communists*, a document which was written in 1926 by a group of exiled Russian and Ukrainian anarchists, and which still has much to offer to today's debates around the question of organisation. 

Racism and the Class struggle

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Racial oppression remains a defining feature of the modern capitalist world. It is manifest most spectacularly in violent attacks on immigrants and minorities by fascist gangs. More important to the fate of these communities has been the systematic and increasing discrimination by capitalist states, manifest in attacks on the rights of immigrants, cuts in welfare services, and racist police and court systems. In this article, the South African anarchist organisation, the WSF, puts forward its view that the fight against racism and the class-struggle are inextricably linked.

Anarchism, militarism and civil war - Can you have an anarchist army? - Looking at the Makhnovist Movement

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AS ANARCHISTS believe the bosses will resist a revolution, it follows that we accept the need for armed force to defend the revolution. But anarchists also oppose militarism, that includes standing armies controlled by the state with officers who have special privileges like extra rations, better quarters, saluting, etc. So what alternative do anarchists propose? [Greek translation]

Announcing the Anarchist Platform email list

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Regular readers of Workers Solidarity outside Ireland who find they agree with a lot of what we say and have email should consider subscribing to the Anarchist Platform email list. The announcement below which is being widely circulated on the internet explains what the list is and how to join it. (2011 Note - the information here is all out of date and presented because this announcement is of historic interest as it lead to the formation of Anarkismo.net - see the end for current links).

The consequences of the fall of the Berlin wall & Eastern European dictatorships

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WHAT WAS ANYONE to make of the fact that students began hanging pears from apple trees on the morning of December 20th 1990 at Bucharest University? For, early that same morning, workers were bussed from all over Romania to attend a 'spontaneous' demonstration in front of Party buildings in support of the dictator, Nicolai Ceausescu. The students at Bucharest University, aware of the real mood in the country, were satirising a famous speech made by Ceausescu to the effect that Stalinist party policy in Romania would only change when 'pears began to grow from apple trees' - the students proved to be singularly accurate with their timing.

Mujeres Libres - Free Women of Spain

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Conditions for the vast majority of people in Spain in the 1920s and 1930s were appalling. For women they were especially bad. There were extreme gender divisions. Most women were economically dependent on men. Household chores and childcare were exclusively women's domain. In both countryside and city women's wages were lower than men's. For example the average daily wage of a male agricultural labourer was 3 pesetas while a women got just half this, for working from dawn to dusk.

The Anarchist Collectives in the Countryside during the Spanish Civil War

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Many people, upon hearing about Anarchism, consider a society based on anarchist principles as unrealistic, idealistic and naive - the vision of dreamers. Given the homogenous view of the world represented in the media, it is often difficult for people to imagine a society where such universally accepted institutions as the state, the judiciary system, the police, armies, and nations no longer exist.

Understanding the Zapatistas as a social movement

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It is now five years since the EZLN (Zapatista Army of National Liberation) came to the attention of the world when they seized five towns in Chiapas on New Year's day in 1994. The years since have seen only a couple of weeks of actual warfare. However the uneasy cease-fire has seen hundreds of land occupations and several national and international gatherings. Thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people have travelled to Chiapas to see the rebellion with their own eyes. Hundreds have been deported by the Mexican government for doing so. Solidarity groups exist in most western countries, including Ireland. In 1993 Chiapas was as anknown backwater in Mexico. Now, in the eyes of many activists, it has moved to centre stage.

An anarchist introduction to trade unions

Date:

TRADE UNIONS were founded to defend the interests of workers, but today have become more and more dominated by an unaccountable, and often unelected, bureaucracy. Trade unions - or at least their leadership - have been co-opted into becoming partners with Capital, and see their role as managing their members, controlling difficult situations rather than leading struggles. You are much more likely to see a trade union official selling the management's latest "productivity package" or "re-structuring deal" than to hear him/her calling for an occupation of a plant to avoid its closure, or for industrial action to fight redundancies.Given this, one might wonder why anarchists spend so much time talking about and working inside the trade unions. To write off trade unions, however, is to ignore the basic fact that for a worker to join a trade union means having to recognise, to some degree, that he or she has different interests to the bosses.

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