In this guest piece Damien Walshe, long term anti-racist activist, takes the opportunity to reflect on what happend in the last week when State authorities acted to take away blonde children from their Roma parents.
“Damned if they did something, damned if they did nothing”
A standard response (and the one trotted out by the Minister for Justice) is that it was best for the HSE/Gardai to err on the side of caution: “better be safe than sorry” has been the mantra. Okay, let’s have a look at that statement: What the danger was established in order to abduct the two Roma children from their families? Under the Child Care act children can be taken into care if a child has or is being assaulted, ill-treated, neglected or sexually abused, or whose health, development or welfare has been or is likely to be impaired or neglected. No one has remotely suggested this was the case for either child.
--José Antonio Gutiérrez D.
6 of March, 2013
The 19th and 20th of October, Motmakt (Counterpower) held its fall congress in Oslo. This congress was slightly different from previous congresses we have had. For the first time representatives from three local chapters were gathered, and the question was how we were to coordinate these chapters moving forward. The Second day of the congress Counterpower was formally founded as a federation. It's only proper that we explain what we mean by it and why we have chosen this way of organizing. [http://www.anarkismo.net/article/26366]
As is the case with most of my comrades, I did not suddenly wake up to find out that I am an anarchist. It was rather a gradual process that started with a determination to fight racism, challenge patriarchy and doubt the existence of some omnipresent old man with white beard.
I was born in 1987 to a Russian mother and a Georgian father in Siberia during the last years of the USSR and spent most of my childhood travelling back and forth between Russia and Georgia, changing different cities and schools and meeting people who were very eager to prove to me how much of a better nation Georgia is in comparison to Russia and vice versa. What affected my ideology the most was my family’s decision to move to Greece where I got to meet many interesting people and during the last years of school together with friends to start reading books on atheism, feminism and anarchy.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼“Let us be lazy in everything, except in loving and drinking, except in being lazy.”
- Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Ask an anarchist for an example of a time and place where their ideas were put to the test and they will most likely reply with “Barcelona, 1936”. In July of that year, the workers of Barcelona, mainly organised around the anarcho-syndicalist Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT; "National Confederation of Labour") rose in opposition to the fascist generals' coup that was gripping the south of the Spanish state.
I was recently in the National Maternity Hospital on Holles Street for an appointment with a gynaecologist. The doctor requested I get some blood work done, and so I was placed in a chair outside an intake room. After waiting a few minutes, three people emerged from the room, two in medical uniforms and another in religious clothing.
After the one in religious clothing had left the hall area, the two in medical uniforms looked at each other in shock. One of them then says to the other,
“Well I never. . .”
The other cuts across her, “Me neither. Where was she from?”
Tom Murray looks at anarchist principles of education and argues that autonomous, co-operative learning is central to our finding new ways of challenging authority and dis- covering freer, more equal ways of being in the world.
Having recently completed a seven stop all Ireland speaking tour, Vanessa Gauthier Vela answers some questions on the nature of the 2012 Quebec student uprising. This interview is a longer version of the one that appeared in the print version of Irish Anarchist Review 8. Audio from Vanessa's talks in Ireland will also be available soon.
The Oakleigh Greek Glendi on Sunday 27 October will include the annual parade to commemorate Ochi Day. This type of event has a history of attracting fascists, such as members of the neo-Nazi party, Golden Dawn.
Democratic Party politicians have denounced right-wing Republicans as "anarchists." Why? Are they "anarchists"? What about rightwingers who call themselves "libertarians"? Are "anarcho-capitalists" really anarchists? Are they consistent with the tradition of "individualist anarchism"?
Until a few months ago we had a libertarian movement in which different ideological expressions of the popular movement came together, but with certain shared elements such as recognition of the need to build organizations from the bottom, outside the State, promoting at all times internal democracy and the leading role of those directly involved, with the clarity on a strategic level that the task was to build popular power with class autonomy and encourage direct action as the main political tool for social transformation. However, the appearance of the Red Libertaria as part of the Todxs a La Moneda movement which supports the presidential candidacy of Marcel Claude and the recent sign from the Frente de Estudiantes Libertarios rejecting this initiative have only served to initiate a split within the libertarians, where it seems that reformist and authoritarian positions have achieved hegemony over part of the militants, and to which anarchists have only stood on as passive spectators. [http://www.anarkismo.net/article/26283]
Solidarity is unity (as of a group or class) that produces or is based on community of interests, objectives, and standards. It refers to the ties in a society that bind people together as one.
A good barometer of any society is how it treats people who are the most socially disadvantaged. In other words we are talking about people on the edge or on the bottom of this heap. In Ireland we have a pyramid structure which has 1% of individuals at the top owning 34% of the wealth. At the broad base of this triangle we have people who are treated appallingly, who are discriminated against, stigmatized and ultimately written-off before they reach the age of adulthood. People who are never given a chance; many Travellers find themselves here.
They say you can't judge a book by it's cover. The cover of the book, however, which has a picture of someone's buttocks with a circled A on one butt cheek and the squatter's symbol pretty much told me what was in store.
Solidarity is a word that fills the songs, slogans and even names of movements in the anarchist, socialist and left tradition. Yet the meaning of the term is often assumed to be common knowledge that needs no further explanation or enquiry. In line with the theme of this issue of the Irish Anarchist Review this article aims to look a little deeper into the history and meaning of this term and how it should inform our activity today and the problems we face. Particularly in situations when equal empowerment between all the participants in the solidarity relation cannot be assumed as a starting point. Clearly solidarity, class and equality are all in some way intertwined, but the question is how, exactly?