International

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Why elections fail to bring about real change - the 10 filters that make them ineffective for the radical left

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Why can’t the 99% simply vote in a government that acts in their interest and not that of the 1%

At a simple level parliamentary elections sound like the ideal way for the mass of the ‘have nots’ to use their numbers to overcome the power and influences of the tiny number of have’s.  Occupy talked about this division in the language of the 1% and 99%; a crude approximation that does reflect a reality where the number of wealthy decision makers is actually very tiny, indeed less than 1%.  So, why can’t the 99% simply vote in a government that acts in their interest and not that of the 1%? [Listen to this article]

What Pegida represents and why we oppose it

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A COUNTER-DEMONSTRATION TO the announcement of an Irish branch of Pegida, a racist anti-Islam group, will occur in Dublin on 6th February. It will be one of a series of Europe-wide counter-demonstrations against Pegida and its fascist political ideology.
 

Global inequality is escalating rapidly - let’s end concentrations of wealth and power, completely

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Oxfam has just released a report that shows global inequality has escalated rapidly over the last 6 years.  The particular measure they used is a very important one.  First they calculated the wealth held by the poorest 50% of the planets population, which is about 3.6 billion people. And then they asked how many of the richest people held the same amount of wealth.

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Anarchists: Against Laws and the State, Against Poverty and Violence

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Why It’s Right to Resist the Government

The law is essentially the weapon of the privileged, it is made by them for the purpose of enshrining their power and the people need to dismantle it entirely if they want to be genuinely free” – Errico Malatesta

Does this mean anarchists are against laws? Anarchists are against laws that are created by the rich and the privileged layer of society which are used in their favour. These same laws are used to exploit and oppress the rest of society. These laws are designed to give as little as possible to people.
 

Routes to freedom - the platform, its shortcomings and the WSM practise - does it remain relevant?

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The anarchists Makhno & Berkman in swim wear from a background over which a rainbow star burst is laid and then a routing diagram laid on top of all three.One of the key foundation documents for the Workers Solidarity Movement is the ‘Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists (Draft)’   This text was written in Paris in 1926 by a group that included exiled Russian and Ukrainian anarchists and was very influenced by the lessons they drew from the Russian Revolution.  Three of the authors -- Nestor Makhno, Ida Mett, Piotr Archinov -- were then and now very well known anarchists, the remaining two -- Valevsky and Linsky -- I know relatively little about. 

In this article I intend to examine whether this text has any relevance to anarchist organising today, some 90 years after it was drafted. In addition, what can we say about its shortcomings? Finally, I will look at some of the confusion the WSM ran into when trying to follow it.

Border rebellion - Two different futures are fighting to be born in this moment

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Two different futures are fighting to be born in this moment.

One the future of more effective border guards, of dragging refugees off trains and herding them into camps, of war without end, of hatred for the 'other', of wealth for a privilege few and immiseration for the masses.

The other future is glimpsed in the people quietly organising our own aid convoys to Calais, of solidarity with Rojava, of fighting for an equality that will be global in scope and from which no one will be locked out.

Which of those futures will you choose to feed?

Stop the drownings - send ferries not gun boats - stop visa checks

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A photo of the body of 3 year old Aylan Kurdi, drowned on the beaches of Fortress Europe has gone viral and appeared on the front pages of many papers across the world.  Aylan died with his brother and his mother.  All were apparently fleeing the murderous ISIS onslaught on Kobane

Let's not send gunboats to rescue the drowning, let's send ferries to provide safe crossings for the living.

Let's not build detention camps on Greek islands, let's remove the requirement that airlines check visas before people can board.

Why the media is biased - understanding the propaganda model

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When the Watergate Scandal brought down the Nixon Government in the States in the mid-70s, it was heralded as one of the finest examples of media power in modern times. Nixon's fall from grace, along with the story of corruption in high places, was the stuff of drama. In no time, the journalists at the centre of the Watergate exposé - Bernstein and Woodward - became celebrities. They went on to win Pulitzer Prizes for their journalistic endeavours and even became the subject of a Hollywood touch-up in All The President's Men.

Ever since, Watergate has acted as a sort of beacon. No single news story did as much for the prestige of the media or the profession of journalism. No other single news-story seems to have offered such overwhelming evidence that under capitalism "the press is free". For a newspaper to be able to have the power and freedom to bring down a US President of Nixon's stature - well, what more can you say?

Refusing to Wait: Anarchism and Intersectionality - "Without justice there can be no love."--bell hooks

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Anarchism can learn a lot from the feminist movement. In many respects it already has. Anarcha-feminists have developed analyses of patriarchy that link it to the state form. We have learned from the slogan that "the personal is political" (e.g. men who espouse equality between all genders should treat the women in their lives with dignity and respect). We have learned that no revolutionary project can be complete while men systematically dominate and exploit women; that socialism is a rather empty goal--even if it is "stateless"--if men's domination of women is left intact.

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