On Wednesday, April 10, Wild Rose Collective co-hosted an event in Iowa City, Iowa with Pavlos speaking as part of a continental speaking tour about resistance in Greece to both fascism and austerity measures. This event was well attended by about 30 people, and raised over $300 to send to Greek social movement activity.
Pavlos spoke on many important issues and movement work in Greece. This also included a very relevant accounting of the 20th century history of occupation, dictatorship and repression in that country. We heard how these experiences have informed the Greek people’s attitudes toward the police and government, and what resistance looks like and is thought of there. He talked about how the police are remembered as collaborators with occupiers, and on the side of the dictatorship and against the people.
Pavlos clarified that what we refer to as ‘riots’ following the murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos in late 2008 are instead known in Greece as the December Uprising. This is an important distinction, Pavlos explained, because people weren’t simply running wild in the streets, but acting with a political compass and targeting banks, government offices, etc. That the uprising has come to be known as riots in the Western media, removing the political content of the actions. The December Uprising also impacted later movements in Greece that emerged in response to severe austerity measures.
We learned about the neo-fascist group Golden Dawn, its recent rise to political power (it is now the third most represented party in the Greek government), and the threat it poses. Pavlos spoke of how, within the last 10 years, Greece has seen a massive change in population demographics, with anti-immigrant sentiment appealing to some. In addition to this, the economic desperation of most Greeks has led to an equally desperate search for a cause and a solution, resulting in an increase in anti-immigrant sentiment. While Greece has a majority politically left-leaning culture, there has been a smaller, but consistent current of fascism and the far right during the last century. And for just as long there has been a popular resistance to it.
Pavlos also spoke to the situation of a failing state and capital and its consequences. For example, suicide rates have skyrocketed. Pavlos anecdotally shared that nearly every person seems to know someone who has killed themselves, making it a common and unsurprising topic of conversation in Greece. The increase in cost of home heating has meant that many homes are using firewood, causing an intense smog and widespread fires in Athens and other places. The average worker has seen 30% or more cuts in wages, if they are paid at all.
With this as the backdrop, popular assemblies have emerged in many locations. Starting in May 2011 in Athens, these began as mass occupations of City Halls somewhat like the U.S.’s Occupy in city parks. The occupations spread throughout Greece, and some have continued. They are often made up of working class Greeks and reflect their concerns and needs, in places running some local services by directly democratic process in the assemblies. We heard how these assemblies serve as an inspiring example of resistance to crisis and austerity. The biggest inspiration and lesson from the assemblies, for Pavlos and for us, is not to just get through the crisis, but to remake our relationships to each other and how we manage our lives day-in and day-out. This, Pavlos told us, is the most radical aspect of what is happening in Greece.
Members of the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) have voted by a massive 91% in favour of industrial action up to and including strike action if the government moves to cut their pay via legislation. This huge vote is a clear statement by the union’s members that No means No, that their rejection of the so-called ‘Croke Park extension’ deal must be respected by both government and the union’s leadership and that they are ready and willing to take action to prevent the imposition of paycuts.
A conversation with Sydney anarchist Sid, co-founder of the Jura books Collective on the history of anarchism in the city and how he became involved in the various phases of the movement. He describes the early debates, conferences and initial projects of opening bookshops and radical spaces. He talks a lot about Jura books whose formation and ongoing maintenance he is centrally involved with.
There are about 5 million employees in Romania, currently. Some other 3 million people (a quarter of the local work force) work in other countries from the European Union, mostly Spain and Italy. The official unemployed people are said to represent 6.7%, but this is not accurate. This number covers only people who have been registered, and it is not calculated according to the entire number of people who could work but are left out. Therefore, the real number of the unemployed people is not really known (or it is not reported by the government), but a logic deduction puts it somewhere at an additional one million people.
Dublin City Council have new by laws to permit officials to interrogate members of the public as to how they are disposing of their rubbish. When the councils started charging for waste disposal years back numerous people refused to pay, the councils then withdrew their collections and ultimately the service was privatised. At the time of the introduction of a fee for rubbish collection some environmentalists argued it was a good thing that would lead to greater recycling and lower waste production. The councils began charging for recycling also of course. Whilst the campaign against the bin tax ultimately ended in failure, many people for economic reasons simply opted out of the waste disposal system, there was an increase in illegal dumping, using of street litter bins and burning of domestic rubbish.
Practices of resistance, solidarity and the construction of communities against and beyond capitalism have always existed through history and have constituted an integral part of anarchist communities. Today the need for such practices has again spread far beyond our small communities and into the wider society.
Welcome to issue seven of the Irish Anarchist Review, published by the Workers Solidarity Movement. One hundred years on from the great Dublin lockout, the labour movement in Ireland stands at a crossroads. In this issue, we look at some of the struggles of the past that lead us to this moment in history and consider ways that we can progress the reconstruction of working class organisation. We don’t think there is a magic formula for success; rather we hope this magazine can be a forum for debate for activists who are involved in the struggles that are going on in 2013.
- Locked Out: Dublin 1913
- General Strike - Protest or Process
- Urban Politics & The Dublin Housing Action Committee 1968-71
- Anarchism in Brazil
- Capital's Shadow
- On the RAG
- The Politics of Voices: Notes on Gender, Race & Class
- Avoiding Burn out – Self Care and Support in activism
- Review of Volume 2 of Anarchist FAQ
A Dublin anarchist bookfair meeting at which two speakers - Milton Sánchez Cubas (President of the Celendin Interinstitutional Platform (PIC), a network of 40 grassroots organisations from Celendin Department of Cajamarca, Peru) and Aida Julieta Quinones Torres (a member of the Environmental Committee for the Defense of Life which monitors the socio-environmental impact of the La Colosa mine, in the department of Tolima, Colombia) –looked at the impact on their communities of exploitation by mega-extractive multinational corporation and explained how they organize to face this threat
NBRU Bus drivers picketing the Bus Eireann depo in Cork city today told us that the picket had been 100% effective amongst their fellow workers, with SIPTU bus drivers and the mechanics all respecting the picket lines, just two people crossed the line both senior management. SIPTU or currently balloting their members to join the action. The dispute seems destined to escalated as management refuse to negotiate are are pressing ahead with their plans despite strong worker resistance. The strike began today a Sunday, the real effects will be felt tomorrow Monday with widespread disruption of services.
Between 2004-2005, Jason founded Black and Pink, a Boston-based organization that describes itself as “an open family of LGBTQ prisoners and ‘free world’ allies who support each other” in their work toward the abolition of the prison industrial complex. Black and Pink’s ongoing projects include a pen-pal project for LGBT prisoners, publishing and distributing a monthly newsletter of stories, poetry, and art by current and former incarcerated LGBT people, and direct advocacy and support for a few select individuals experiencing harassment, sexual violence, lack of access to healthcare, and other forms of mistreatment. Now serving as Director and Lead Organizer at Black and Pink, Jason spoke with The Media about his prison abolition work and the visibility that’s come with Black and Pink’s recent nomination to be the Grand Marshal at Boston Pride 2013. Voting is open until May 15.
Members of the 3 teacher unions – INTO, TUI and ASTI – have begun a ballot for industrial action which, if agreed, “will be triggered in the event of government proceeding unilaterally to impose salary cuts or to worsen working conditions.” INTO members will vote at meetings to be held across the country this coming week while ASTI and TUI members are voting by postal ballot with a closing date of 20th May.
A few thousand took part in the annual mayday parade in Sydney this year with organisers claiming it was the largest in years. This years event theme was a 'a proud past, a fighting future' which certainly matched the range of trade union banners on display and political groups of all shades including the James Connolly Society involving recent Irish migrants.
Dr. Laura Agustín (author of Sex at the Margins: Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry) will talk at the Bookfair about why she believes sex work should be treated as work and why we should “resist the general victimising of women who sell sex”.
The talk on the Campaign Against Home and Water Taxes (CAHWT) at the Anarchist Bookfair 2013 in the Main Hall was relatively sombre in tone to say the least. The echoing clamour of the Main Hall only served to highlight the strange impasse which the campaign has found itself in of late. The assembled survivors could have fitted easily into Room 2, which was packed to capacity by speakers on issues which would seemingly be less of a political immediacy.
Guest review by Ciara
Port Said je nyní úplně v rukou lidu. U vstupu do města, na místě starých policejních zátarasů, se nachází kontrolní stanoviště, jehož posádku tvoří místní obyvatelé, povětšinou stávkující dělníci, kteří si říkají „lidová policie“. Totéž platí pro dopravu – již zde nejsou dopravní fízlové, ale mladí muži, studenti a dělníci, [http://www.anarkismo.net/article/24993]