International

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

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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.

Italian Anarchism...get back to where you once belonged

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Italy is one of the historical strongholds of the anarchist movement. Donato Romito, the international secretary of the Italian Federation of Anarchist Communists (Fd.C.A), provides an overview of the anarchist movement in Italy today, the organisations and publications that comprise it and the direction it should take in the future.

After Apartheid: Anarchism and the 'new' South Africa

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Just three years after the famous elections that ended apartheid in April 1994, South Africa's reforms are in crisis and dissatisfaction is rising. In a wide ranging interview we ask the Workers Solidarity Federation for their views on what has happened since the end of apartheid. Interview by Kevin Doyle.

Anarchists and the trade unions - Be active - be involved

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Trade Unions are important organs of the working-class. Gregor Kerr - a member of the Irish National Teachers Organisation who has been involved in campaigns against "social partnership" and in many strike support groups - argues that trade union involvement should form a central part of the political activity of all anarchists.

Which Way to the Revolution?

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A complete transformation of society, revolution, is the goal of anarchism. Ray Cunningham looks at what is meant when anarchists talk about revolution, and what can be done to bring it closer. 

From the 1870's the world has been rocked by revolutions, but all have gone down to defeat. Anarchists believe they understand why previous revolutions have failed, but do we know how a successful revolution can be made? Are there steps we can take today to prepare and nurture such a revolution, or is it a question of waiting for the ripening of time?

Noam Chomsky on Anarchism, Marxism & Hope for the Future - interview

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Noam Chomsky is widely known for his critique of U.S foreign policy, and for his work as a linguist. Less well known is his ongoing support for libertarian socialist objectives. In a special interview done for Red and Black Revolution, Chomsky gives his views on anarchism and marxism, and the prospects for socialism now. The interview was conducted in May 1995 by Kevin Doyle.

Sinn Fein and the 'Peace Process'

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The 'Irish peace process' is now well into its second year. It has brought respectability for Sinn Féin but little of consequence for the Irish working class - North or South. Gregor Kerr a member of the National Committee of the Irish Anti Extradition Committee in the late 1980s, looks at events leading up to the cease-fire and Sinn Féin's pan-nationalist strategy.

Since the ending of the 'Cold War', many national liberation struggles throughout the world have been 'settled'. In places as far apart as South Africa, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Palestine these national liberation struggles were led by groupings which were often seen as having left leanings. However in all of these cases the 'settlement' was far from socialist. The current 'Irish peace process' is following exactly the same lines and has nothing to offer the Irish working class North or South

Report on the 1995 Ruesta anarchist conference

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SUMMER 1995 saw the red and black flag of anarchism flying high in the mountains of Spain. Alternative Libertaire of France organised an international meeting for libertarian socialists, anarcho-syndicalists and anarchists, which saw over 100 delegates gather at the village of Ruesta in the Spanish Pyrenees. Unlike the average holiday resort, this village is owned by an anarcho-syndicalist trade union (the Spanish CGT). Comprising two hostels, two bars, a restaurant, a campsite, a lake, a church which has been turned into a small hall for meetings, a shop and about twenty buildings in need of major renovation, Ruesta is run as a leisure centre for members of the CGT (and anyone else who wants to visit).

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