Throughout the years Israel has tried to neutralize the pressure of more enlightened people by hiding its brute racism and murderous activities by recruiting the memory of the Holocaust as justification for all its heinous acts when revealed. However, as the masquerade has been exposed in recent years and more and more are disillusioned from the "Zionist dream", the restraints are being loosened fast. The rightists preach their extreme racist ideology in the open. The "paramilitarist" settlers get a freer hand. The transfer of Palestinians both within the 1948 borders and these occupied in 1967 is being done in the open. Though it is still restricted mainly to the Israeli area of the Bedouins in the south and the C agricultural regions of the 1967 borders, the "gloves" have been removed. In the same new mode, repression of the non-armed popular struggles has intensified in the last few weeks and we cannot guess what the limit of the new repression mode will be - if at all.
In this piece, I propose a different way that we might approach radical, revolutionary, transformative politics. I propose experimentation with new and unique political spaces—both conceptual and physical—which hold closely to a belief that another world is possible; which use that hope to build for the long-haul and on a large scale; and yet which, at the same time, hold us, nurture us, and ignite us as real people as we struggle daily, yearly, multi-generationally to get where we need to go. I propose that these spaces must go beyond the traditional organizational styles and formats that we've become used to—be they campaign organizations and coalitions, non-profits, collectives, spontaneous mobilizations, cadre groups, or revolutionary parties. Instead, I propose rethinking many of the assumed conventions and truisms of Left movements, and reaching out even more widely into society and history—even into enemy territory—for lessons and inspiration.
Growing up in West Belfast, as Maíria Cahill did, you are immediately introduced and submerged into a culture of republicanism and of the armed struggle. Murals, flags and gardens of remembrance make it impossible to escape. What is lurking in the shadows of these symbols and the shadows of local heroes is the clandestine sexual abuse that went on during those turbulent years – clandestine to the public but an open secret within the republican family.
Living in a community where Sinn Féin have an absolute political monopoly, it was incredibly brave of Maíria to waive her right to anonymity and challenge the conventional wisdom that surrounded her case – the conventional wisdom that the IRA was responsible for. What we have seen as result, is an attempt by Sinn Féin, as they quite often do, to make Maíria’s rape something it is not. They are trying to write this off as an attack on Gerry Adams and are actively adding to rape culture by implying that Maíria has made it all up for these ends.
Zaher Baher of the Kurdistan Anarchists Forum spoke at the 2014 London Anarchist Bookfair about the two weeks he spent in Syrian Kurdistan in May 2014, looking at the experiences of self-management in the region, experiments that have become more widely discussed as the result of the defense of Kobane against ISIS. Zaher is also a member of Haringey Solidarity Group
Zaher Baher of the Kurdistan Anarchists Forum spent two weeks in Syrian Kurdistan in May 2014, looking at the experiences of self-management in the region, experiments that have become more widely discussed as the result of the defense of Kobane against ISIS. This account tells in some detail what he saw and what conclusions he draws. Zaher is also a member of Haringey Solidarity Group and spoke at the 2014 London Anarchist Bookfair about his experiences. This account was originally published as 'The experiment of West Kurdistan (Syrian Kurdistan) has proved that people can make changes'
Gustavo Esteva is an independent writer and grassroots activist. He has been a central contributor to a wide range of Mexican, Latin American, and international nongovernmental organizations and solidarity networks, including the Universidad de la Tierra en Oaxaca and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. The WSM's Tom Murray caught up with Gustavo at a recent public lecture at the Kimmage Development Centre to discuss hope, friendship and surprise in the zombie-time of capitalism, and how people are taking initiatives, reclaiming control of their lives and creating vibrant, autonomous alternatives here today.
Welcome to the tenth instalment of the Irish Anarchist Review, published for the 2014 London Anarchist Bookfair.
Five years ago, the Irish Anarchist Review replaced Red and Black Revolution as the magazine of the Workers Solidarity Movement. It’s mission was to fill a vacuum in Irish radical circles, to be a publication that raised questions and provoked debate, rather than laying out blueprints for success, as had been the norm in the more theoretical work of the left. It was established at a time where a fightback was believed to be imminent, when the expectation was that as the (economic) beatings continued, morale would improve.The intervening years produced a series of false starts. The big ICTU demonstrations in the infancy of the crisis proved to be safety valves for the expulsion of steam from the rank and file, and were tightly controlled by the bureaucracy. The Occupy phenomenon was a reaction against that type of protest, and it did release a wave of creative energy, but it’s structurelessness ultimately had the same effect, and that energy escaped into the ether. There have also been strikes and occupations, the Unlock Nama campaign, the campaign against household and water taxes (CAHWT) and a massive resurgence in the campaign for abortion access.
Saturday last, 11th October, saw tens of thousands take to the streets of Dublin in a powerful, colourful and vibrant display of opposition to the Irish government’s attempts to impose water charges.
The numbers who turned out were so large and took everybody by surprise to such an extent that nobody – media, gardai or organisers – could give an accurate estimate of actual numbers. Estimates varied from 30,000 to 100,000, but whatever the exact figure was it was clear that this was the start of something huge.
It was an energising and invigorating protest to be part of. From well before the start time, people were arriving in their droves at Parnell Square. To see groups of people arriving in by bus from all over the city and from around the country was inspiring and should have a huge impact on the political confidence of all those who took part.