Views expressed on this website do not necessarily represent the ideas or opinions of the Northeast Anarchist Network or affiliated groups. Posts, comments and statements represent the individual user by which they are posted, or an individual or group cited within the text.


National & International News

Europe faces ‘biodiversity oblivion’ after collapse in French birds, experts warn

Infoshop News - Sat, 04/28/2018 - 2:35pm

via The Guardian

The “catastrophic” decline in French farmland birds signals a wider biodiversity crisis in Europe which ultimately imperils all humans, leading scientists have told the Guardian.

A dramatic fall in farmland birds such as skylarks, whitethroats and ortolan bunting in France was revealed by two studies this week, with the spread of neonicotinoid pesticides – and decimation of insect life – coming under particular scrutiny.

With intensive crop production encouraged by the EU’s common agricultural policy apparently driving the bird declines, conservationists are warning that many European countries are facing a second “silent spring” – a term coined by the ecologist Rachel Carson to describe the slump in bird populations in the 1960s caused by pesticides.

“We’ve lost a quarter of skylarks in 15 years. It’s huge, it’s really, really huge. If this was the human population, it would be a major thing,” said Dr Benoit Fontaine of France’s National Museum of Natural History and co-author of one of the new studies, a national survey of France’s common birds. “We are turning our farmland into a desert. We are losing everything and we need that nature, that biodiversity – the agriculture needs pollinators and the soil fauna. Without that, ultimately, we will die.”

Read more

General Strike in South Africa

Infoshop News - Sat, 04/28/2018 - 12:11pm

via Libcom

Cities and rural towns across South Africa were shut down today as the new South African Federation of Trade Unions, which is independent of the ruling ANC, and driven by the militant National Union of Metal Workers, held a successful general strike. The strike was strongly supported by popular organisations organised outside of the factory floor, such as Abahlali baseMjondolo. It is being understood as a clear indication that the ANC has lost its hold over the organised working class.

R20 an hour is an insult, say marchers

By Zoë Postman, Joseph Chirume, Eryn Scannell and Annie Cebulski
GroundUp

25 April 2018

Thousands of workers from the SA Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) marched in several cities on Wednesday calling for a higher minimum wage.

They are demanding a minimum wage of R12,500 a month instead of the R3,500 a month (R20 per hour) which has been proposed. Workers also protested against proposed changes to the law on strikes and to the increase in VAT.

In Johannesburg workers gathered at the Newtown precinct and marched to the Premier’s office, and the offices of the Department of Labour and the Gauteng Department of Social Development. Unions included the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), the General Industrial Workers Union of South Africa (GIWUSA), the National Union Of Public Service and Allied Workers (NUPSAW), the South African Liberated Public Sector Workers’ Union (SALIPSWU), the Information Communication and Technology Union (ICTU) and Simunye Workers Forum.

Unions from the Federation of Unions of SA (FEDUSA), the National Council of Trade Unions (NACTU) and the Congress of SA Trade Unions (COSATU) did not join the strike.

NUMSA spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said the unions who did not join the strike were saying that “workers must settle in their poverty”.

“COSATU leadership is telling us that half a loaf of bread is better than no bread. But we are saying that is not good enough. We are demanding a decent living minimum wage”, said Hlubi-Majola.

SAFTU general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi urged the crowd to maintain discipline. “There are stories that say this strike will turn violent but today we will prove them wrong”, he said.

In Cape Town, thousands of workers marched from Keizersgracht Street to the Civic Centre and Parliament.

“R11 is an insult, R15 is an insult, R18 is an insult, R20 is an insult,” Brightness Matwa, a spokesperson for the Democratised Transport Logistics and Allied Workers Union (DEWATU) said in a speech to workers before the march. “All the proposed wages are an insult.”

Businesses closed their doors as workers and supporters sang and danced down the streets on the way to Parliament. Police escorted the procession on foot and in cars.

“Viva SAFTU!” the crowd sang as the sea of red shirts flooded down the streets.

“I have six kids and I am a single parent,” community care worker Kanyisha Mendela said. “I have two kids who are going to tertiary level next year. Where am I going to get the money?”

Security worker Ntombozuko Bomba, who makes R4,000 a month, said the proposed minimum wage was too low because though he made more, his pay was still inadequate. “Our boss gets R16,000. We can go two months without getting paid because they say they don’t have the money,” Bomba said.

In Port Elizabeth about 1,200 workers marched from Nangoza Jebe hall in New Brighton to City Hall, singing. Some businesses closed along Govan Mbeki Avenue.

Addressing the workers, Numsa president and SAFTU representative Andrew Chirwa said the R20 an hour minimum wage was unacceptable. “People who are propagating that wage are themselves swimming in riches. They don’t know what R20 is worth. Our government has decided to legalise poverty by introducing a wage of R20 an hour.”

Chirwa said the other reason for the strike was to stop employers from conniving with the government against workers. “The employers want to give power to the Minister of Labour to allow or ban strikes. They want to force all of us to vote before a strike and the ballot will be supervised by the Department of Labour — the same department that is not helping workers. Workers are dying of maltreatment but the Department of Labour is doing nothing to stop it. Those who sit in government offices making laws against workers are our enemies.”

The memorandum was handed over to Mzimkhulu Papu of the Department of Labour.

In a statement released on Tuesday, FEDUSA said organised labour initially proposed R4,500 a month but had to bring it down to R3,500 during negotiations so that business would buy in.

“FEDUSA remains fully cognizant that the proposed R20 per hour, translated to R3,500 monthly, is not a living wage, but a minimum wage, recommended for 47% of workers currently earning less than R20 per hour”, the federation said.

COSATU also released a statement, on Monday, saying that the R20 minimum wage would be the foundation of a living wage.

“The minimum wage will be a huge achievement that will see wages rise for the 47% of workers (6 million), who earn less than R20 an hour currently”, COSATU said.

Against Nationalism and War!

Infoshop News - Sat, 04/28/2018 - 8:10am

via Libcom

May Day 2018 Statement of the Internationalist Communist Tendency.

This is not the happiest of times: Worldwide nationalist tensions, arms races and military conflicts are assuming dramatic proportions as exploitation and oppression are on the increase. These are not consequences of this or that egomaniac or incompetent politician but of the very inner workings of the system.

Economic Stagnation

For the first time in a decade the IMF is not revising down its estimates for global economic growth. For some of capitalism’s cheerleaders this shows that the world economy is on the road to recovery. More sober voices however can point to the reality of this “recovery”. Once again it is predicated on debt – the US revival for example coincides with a huge new expansion in credit card debt. And debt makes the wheels of this system keep on going round. Debt was supposed to shrink via inflation and growth. But, with a low rate of profit, investment has been feeble, and austerity policies have only made matters worse.

According to the Bank for International Settlements the global debt burden was 225% of annual economic output in 2008. Today it stands at 330%. In bald figures Global Debt Monitor in January tell us that global debt (public and private combined) went from $17 trillion in 2006 to an incredible $233 trillion today. We are in a fantasy world where the production of the future is already mortgaged to infinity. The next financial collapse is not only inevitable it is not far off.

However this capitalist economic crisis goes back much further to the end of the post-war boom in the early 1970s. Workers have been paying for it ever since. From 1979 on, wages as a share of GDP have continued to fall as globalisation has brought about the flight of jobs to low wage economies. Today the wealth of the world largely rests in the hands of a few individuals. In the USA, for example, the differential between rich and poor is once again the same as in 1917.

Political Failure

Economic failure is now being translated into political instability. Neo-liberal conservatism (which brought us the 2007-8 collapse) and social democratic Keynesianism (which now cannot fund its welfare state) have both failed to solve the woes of the world. The old established governing parties are losing their grip and their credibility. Whether it is the complete failure of states (as in Syria or South Sudan), Brexit, the election of Trump, political paralysis or the rise of the radical right, wherever we look there is increasing political turmoil.

Much of this turmoil is put down to “populism”. Populism, in one form or another, has always been around but, as long as the old mainstream capitalist parties could pretend that there was some hope that things might get better, it was confined to the margins of the system. For capitalists “populism” now means the rise of alternative forces which they believe will destroy their control over the system.

After 4 decades of economic stagnation the rise of populist organisations has taken several forms. The populism of the Left (Podemos, Syriza, Corbyn’s Labour, Sanders’ “socialism”) channels workers anger into the safety of the ballot box, without having programmes to challenge the system. It will thus fail. The populism of the right is more dangerous since it is built on the politics of fear. Their nationalist message is not only about “America First” or “taking back control” and the like. It is built on hatred of the “other”. Falling living standards? It is the fault of Jews, Muslims, or migrants in general. This has brought about the rise of anti-semitic and Islamophobic attacks as well as those on migrants (themselves already the victims of wars brought to Africa and Asia by the world’s richest capitalist powers).

Trade Wars …

And this rabid nationalism does not end there. In emphasising the need to defend the national economy against “them”, the outsiders and the foreigners, this xenophobia is taking the world down a dangerous road. The global capitalist system grew stronger after World War Two on the basis of the US economy and its institutions which presided over a boom unprecedented in capitalist history.

This all came to an end when the US could no longer maintain the dollar “as good as gold” in 1971. Since then the process has been long and slow but there has been a relative decline in the dominance of the US economy over the rest of the world, disguised by the fact that the rest of the world helps pay for the mountainous US debt by using the dollar as the premier currency of international trade.

Far from China ripping off the world it has been the US through the general use of the dollar that has been getting a free ride. No other country in the world could keep printing its currency to cover its growing debts unless that currency mainly circulated abroad.

When a poor, developing China started building its manufacturing base and increasing its trade with the West a quarter-century ago it did so thanks to US capital. Few imagined that it would now be the world’s industrial giant. China has already surpassed the US in manufacturing output, savings, trade, and even GDP when measured in terms of purchasing power parity.

… and Strategic Wars

The US might still be powerful but the trade conflict unleashed by Trump reveals the extent to which America has lost its dominant global position. Previously the US could ignore the fact that China made revelation of intellectual property and technology secrets a condition for investment in its low cost factories. Now the stakes are higher and they are not just about trade. Trump cited a 1964 law on the defence of US national security for the introduction of his first steel tariff. We are already at the point where a trade war is the precursor of a strategic war. This is not a simple scenario.

With the fall of the USSR American triumphalism about the “end of history” and the beginning of a new world order knew no bounds. However it did not last. The failures in Afghanistan and Iraq have been compounded by the rise of China. The danger in this situation is that there is a complete mismatch between the military power of the US and the rest. Its troops are present nearly everywhere, its navies control the world’s shipping lanes and its spending on defence is much more than twice the Chinese and Russians put together. If China’s growth continues, and its initiatives in Africa and Asia prosper as in the past, the US will be looking at a further diminution of its power.

The pressure for pre-emptive military action is growing and Trump’s recent appointments of Bolton and Pompeo brings the likelihood of that much closer. Behind them lie American think tanks calling for some action to halt China. As we have often written trade wars throughout history have been the precursors to shooting wars. There is no guarantee that the long agony of this economic crisis will not end the same way.

The Only Alternative

The only force that can stop it is the international working class, the majority of the world’s population. Although they have been in retreat for decades suffering unemployment, inflation, restructuring of industry and new methods of exploitation the wage workers of the world are essential to the capitalist system in war and peace. The signs are that after the disorientation caused by the destruction of jobs in the 1980s and 1990s the working class is beginning to re-find itself in a new class composition which refuses to accept just any old conditions. Migrant workers, workers in the gig economy and the proletarianised professional sectors of the wage labouring classes are already beginning to fight back. So far these are just scattered signs and not yet a massive and systematic response to the seriousness of the attack that we have been suffering for a long time but at least they exist.

It is not a moment too soon. The system is sick. Not only is the drive for capitalist profit threatening the peacetime existence of the planet through environmental destruction but the racist solutions of the nationalists threaten wars which could drive humanity back centuries, assuming it survives at all.

Struggles against exploitation, oppression and racism are however only the beginning. Strikes, occupations and protests can build confidence, provide experience, and win concessions from employers and landlords. These elemental struggles need focus and a programme if we are to escape from a situation where every struggle starts from scratch. This May Day, only 4 days before the 200th anniversary of the birth of Marx, we remember his words that “every class struggle is a political struggle”.

Whilst the working class needs its own organs to centralise its struggles across a vast territory, a function played in the past by workers’ councils and assemblies, it also needs an international and internationalist party to provide a long term political vision and consciously guide that struggle in a communist direction. This party is not a government in waiting and certainly not another parliamentary project (as Social Democrats and Stalinists maintain), but a necessary political instrument to unite and guide the movement for emancipation which emerges from the class struggle itself. It is this party which the Internationalist Communist Tendency has dedicated itself to being a part of to fight for a world without classes or states, without exploitation or borders, without famines and wars, in which the freedom of each is condition for the freedom of all.

Internationalist Communist Tendency
May Day 2018

Η ιδέα της ισότητας και οι μπολσεβίκοι

Anarkismo - Sat, 04/28/2018 - 7:18am
Οι Μπολσεβίκοι έχουν ξεφορτωθεί την ιδέα της ισότητας, όχι μόνο στην πράξη αλλά και στη θεωρία, γιατί και μόνο η προφορά της τους φαίνεται επικίνδυνη τώρα. Αυτό είναι αρκετά κατανοητό, γιατί ολόκληρη η κυριαρχία τους εξαρτάται από μια διαμετρικά αντίθετη ιδέα, από μια τρανταχτή ανισότητα, οι τρόμοι και τα κακά της οποίας έχουν κάτσει στις πλάτες των εργατών. Ας ελπίσουμε ότι οι εργάτες κάθε χώρας μπορούν να βγάλουν τα απαραίτητα συμπεράσματα και με τη σειρά τους να τελειώσουν με τους Μπολσεβίκους, αυτούς τους υποστηρικτές της ιδέας της σκλαβιάς και τους καταπιεστές της Εργασίας.

The useful dead

Anarkismo - Fri, 04/27/2018 - 8:25am
The Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group opposes Australian imperialism and militarism and therefore opposes all celebrations of it. We look forward to a workers' revolution which will usher in a world community of freedom and equality for all – and where war will be seen in museums, not the news.

Amparo Poch y Gascón, una médica feminista y antifascista

Anarkismo - Thu, 04/26/2018 - 12:36am
Dedicó su vida a la medicina y fue una de las fundadoras de Mujeres Libres. Ejerció su profesión desde una perspectiva feminista y de clase, ayudando a las mujeres obreras a eliminar prejuicios y tradiciones sobre la maternidad y sexualidad. Cuidó de los niños refugiados de la guerra civil y huyó de España. Murió, tal día como hoy, en el exilio y la pobreza.

Acto por un 1ero de Mayo Libertario. Abril 27 de 2018

Anarkismo - Wed, 04/25/2018 - 4:17pm
Acto por un 1ero de Mayo Libertario
Actividad político-cultural
Charlas, proyecciones, galería y acto cultural

The “New Turkey”: Permanent State of Emergency and the Dream of Absolute Power

Anarkismo - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 9:57am
After declaring a state of emergency in the country, the decree laws of the government have replaced the law and therefore the constitution (already suspended partially) in Turkey.

Buscando la verdad entre las ruinas de Duma

Anarkismo - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 6:16am
Las dudas de un médico sobre el ataque químico
Traducido para Rebelión por Juan Antonio Julián.

The search for truth in the rubble of Douma

Anarkismo - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 6:13am
-and one doctor’s doubts over the chemical attack
Exclusive: Robert Fisk visits the Syria clinic at the centre of a global crisis

El Desplome del “Informalismo” y el Fin de la Epidemia de Rabia en México.

Anarkismo - Mon, 04/23/2018 - 4:00pm
A los anarquistas de México y el mundo
El insurreccionalismo demostró su inoperancia, y su falta de sentido común en su natal Italia, y volvió a demostrarlo en la experiencia española ("La epidemia de rabia. 1996-2007", de los Tigres de Sutullena), donde inició "una huida hacia adelante bordeando el nihilismo" (o incluso sumergiéndose en él), como diría el grupo Ruptura (Ekintza Zuzena, "Entrevista al grupo Ruptura"), y lo demostró en Grecia, donde todxs lxs presxs miembrxs de la “Conspiración de Células del Fuego” han terminado coludidos con la mafia carcelaria, y otra vez, quedó demostrado en Chile, con sus presxs y sus muertxs, y está siendo demostrado en México, donde lxs luchadores populares, y las organizaciones sociales, rechazan abiertamente sus tácticas terroristas y su propuesta de más violencia a una sociedad civil hastiada de la violencia que ejerce cotidianamente la delincuencia organizada y sus cómplices del Estado…

Περί εθνών και εθνικισμών

Anarkismo - Mon, 04/23/2018 - 7:13am
Μέρος 1ο
[Οι θέσεις που ακολουθούν δεν διεκδικούν την αποτύπωση μίας κλειστής θεωρίας, την οποία άλλωστε απεχθανόμαστε. Επιχειρούμε μία πρώτη συμβολή της συλλογικότητάς μας στην κριτική, την αποδόμηση και την εναντίωση στα έθνη, μέσα σε μία συγκυρία όξυνσης διαφόρων εκφάνσεων του εθνικιστικού λόγου. Για την ολική άρνηση στράτευσης σε μία αυταπάτη που συγκροτεί και συγκροτείται από τα κράτη, το κεφάλαιο, τους στρατούς, τα σύνορα και τη μισαλλοδοξία.]

Abahlali baseMjondolo to hold their annual UnFreedom Day rally tomorrow

Anarkismo - Sat, 04/21/2018 - 1:43pm
Thousands will participate in the rally in Durban, South Africa
Freedom Day is a national public holiday in South Africa. Each year Abahlali baseMjondolo, which has more than 50 000 paid up members in good standing, holds a heretical 'UnFreedom Day' to contest dominant ideologies.

Απο-αποικιοκρατικοποίηση του ακτιβισμού

Anarkismo - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 7:50am
Το παρακάτω κείμενο βρίσκεται στο βιβλίο «Decolonizing Anarchism: An Antiauthoritarian History of India’s Liberation Struggle” της Maia Ranmath εκ. AK Press 2011. Ο διάλογος έχει συντεθεί μέσα από τις συζητήσεις σε πάνελ του Left Forum 2011 «Towards a Politics of Solidarity» για την «αναρχική αλληλεγγύη» και την έκθεση αναρχικού βιβλίου της Νέας Υόρκης το 2011 για την ανάπτυξη ενός κινήματος BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) έναντι της συνεχιζόμενης Ισραηλινής κατοχής παλαιστινιακών εδαφών. Η Maia Ranmath είναι ακτιβίστρια, καθηγήτρια Ιστορίας και Ασιατικών Σπουδών στο Πανεπιστήμιο της Πενσυλβάνια, στο παρελθόν έχει διδάξει στο Πανεπιστήμιο της Καλιφόρνια στη Σάντα Κρουζ και στο Πανεπιστήμιο της Νέας Υόρκης, είναι μέλος του συμβουλίου του Ινστιτούτου Αναρχικών Σπουδών (IAS) και έχει υπάρξει μέλος της κεντρικής επιτροπής της οργάνωσης Historians Against the War. Μετάφραση Δημήτρης Πλαστήρας.

Interview With NZ Anarchist Part 2

Anarkismo - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 6:01pm
This is part 2 of an interview between social activist Alex Pirie and New Zealand based anarchist and Aotearoa Worker's Solidarity Movement (AWSM) member Barrie Sargeant. It discusses anti-fascism.

[Catalunya] Propuesta de creación de un movimiento popular de la vivienda

Anarkismo - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 10:42am
El ámbito de Vivienda de Embat (Organización Libertaria de Cataluña) se constituyó hace unos meses y está formado esencialmente por militantes de base de varios grupos, sindicatos, asambleas o asociaciones vinculadas a la lucha por el derecho a la vivienda.

Cap a un Moviment Popular de l’Habitatge

Anarkismo - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 10:40am
Llançem una proposta que valorem com a necessària per organitzar-nos millor i construir #PoderPopular en la lluita pel dret a l’habitatge. Aquí podeu llegir el què, el perquè i el com de la proposta #CongrésHabitatge #ConstruimMPH #MovimentPopularHabitatge.

Encuentros Ácratas. Ciclo: Mijaíl Bakunin. 1era Sesión. Abril 19 de 2018

Anarkismo - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 3:36pm
Tenemos el gusto de invitarles a participar del Ciclo Mijaíl Bakunin de los Encuentros Ácrátas organizados por el Grupo Libertario Vía Libre. La primera sesión: Acercamiento a su biografía, se desarrollara el próximo jueves 19 de abril a las 6 pm en la Fundación Prosiembra (Calle 31 a #16-23)

Hombre y Sociedad (segunda época) apaga diez velitas [2007]

Anarkismo - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 4:15am
Artículo que apareció originalmente en el número 21 (Primavera 2007) de la publicación comunista-anárquica chilena "Hombre y Sociedad" con motivo del décimo aniversario de esta importante revista, en el que se hace un recuento histórico de su surgimiento, de algunos aspectos del anarquismo en Chile en la década de 1980 y 1990, y una evaluación de su impacto.

Για την κουλτούρα του βιασμού

Anarkismo - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:06am
Σε μια συνθήκη όπου το να καθορίσουμε εμείς τα βιώματά μας δεν είναι δυνατό, εμείς το διεκδικούμε. Διεκδικούμε το να μιλάμε για αυτά και να το κάνουμε δημόσια. Το να κατανοήσουμε αυτό που μας συμβαίνει και να το αναλύσουμε με όρους πολιτικούς, μας βοηθάει να καταλάβουμε ότι δεν είμαστε οι μόνες, δεν είμαστε μόνες. Πολιτικοποιώντας τα βιώματά μας, αναδημιουργούμε την ιστορία. Τις μικρές και μεγάλες αφηγήσεις που μας θέλουν εκτός. Εκτός της ιστορίας, εκτός των αγώνων, εκτός της γλώσσας και των νοημάτων της. Ο φεμινισμός μάς δίνει τη δυνατότητα να διαχειριστούμε τα βιώματά μας και να αντισταθούμε στις συνθήκες που τα προκαλούν, να αντιστρέψουμε τους όρους και να αντεπιτεθούμε.



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Views expressed on this website do not necessarily represent the ideas or opinions of the Northeast Anarchist Network or affiliated groups. Posts, comments and statements represent the individual user by which they are posted, or an individual or group cited within the text.