Red And Black telly: May Elections, ” Nazi ” Ken, London Mayday 2016.
From a Greek friend in the UK.
I don’t know whether or not it has made any activist websites yet, but 5 Greek students are facing extradition to Italy (via a European Union warrant) where the Italian legal system hopes to imprison them for their participation in the 1st of May demo of 2015. After being arrested and then set free in Italy, Greek police bust into their houses this November. There is no evidence against them and the charges they face are pure bullshit (the translation is roughly one charge for “damages” and one for “extended resistance”- obviously referring to when they were snatched from the streets on the 2nd of May for no fucking reason). These offences carry sentences between 8-15 YEARS.
This issue should be of concern to everyone active in Europe as it represents repression on a variety of levels: 1. The students don’t have any evidence against them, so that is a huge issue in and of itself, 2. they are arrested for protesting, 3. the issue of extradition and the EU’s involvement adds a whole other dimension- if this passes, mass mobilizations like Genoa or like Paris recently will be much harder to organise. Imagine coming back from COP21 and getting snatched many months later while you are chilling with your family. This is next level criminalisation of protesting, ON A EUROPEAN LEVEL. This could set a very negative precedent and people need to be aware of this and be ready to organise.
After Fede, an Italian student studying at SOAS, was snatched in Frankfurt at the Blockupy demonstrations, solidarity actions were largely limited to people taking photo’s of themselves holding a cardboard sign reading “Free Fede”. The most antagonistic action was a 30 person demo outside the German embassy in London, whilst Fede was held in prison for months.
Obviously when lefty kids share solidarity selfies on social media, it raises awareness of the issue, slightly. But it’s had the effect of limiting solidarity to these simple, easy acts for a lot of people, instead of organising larger strategic actions, campaigns and so on. It also reinforces on a large, public scale, the idea that appealing to rulers could work, if only they were nice enough or saw enough sense to grant our wishes. But why should they? They know we’re weak, which is why they can snatch who they want, and profit from whatever they want to, protected by whichever racist or repressive policies they choose.
With solidarity actions for Kurdistan, Spanish anarchists, Greece, with individual cases that look to set dangerous precedents, and in general offensive struggles, we have the potential to build for much more. I think we need to use info from the organisations mapping capital like Corporate Watch, seeing who owns what, and how we can actually exert pressure on targets by reducing what matters to them, profit, rather than just trying to hurt their PR. An example would be how the German state own Deutche Bahn (now the biggest transport company in the world, and running London Overground, Arriva trains and buses, Cross-county rail and more) and DHL, the world’s largest logistics firm. Can we map the most strategic targets for social movements, or the most destructive infrastructures?
There are also huge similarities between anarchists and autonomous Marxists that can be worked on, and should be if we’re going to be able to spread our ideas effectively. It annoys a lot of anarchists (for good reason) that autonomists ignore anarchist lit and tradition when they ‘discover’ that parliamentary politics aren’t too useful, and that seizing the state isn’t the way to change society, but we need to work through our differences. This is especially important in getting beyond a to b demos, and showing how blocs can be done much better.
I don’t think we should be waiting until other groups or movements emerge and do the hard work of getting people working together, to then piggyback it and then get disappointed when things don’t go perfectly, or they get co-opted by liberals or statists. I also don’t think we should be waiting for widespread social unrest or spontaneous rioting to then try sustain the pressure. If there were ideas about how people could take control of their own lives before rioting, strategies, infrastructure to mass distribute information quickly, infrastructures set up to help counter the massive repression we saw in 2011, and help further politicise people that are facing repression (ie bigger than GBC and not just limited to ‘protests’).
So just to summarise, I’m saying I think its time we:
- Build communication links and a BROAD strategy between groups, networks and orgs in the extra-parliamentary left and anarchist circles.
- Keep mapping capitalism, but with ambitious, strategic actions in mind.
- Get the people, money and buildings needed to start working on a much bigger scale (ie can people being priced out of London homes be accommodated in large euro-style housing co-ops in office buildings?)
- Focus on strategically tailored propaganda and anti-repression infrastructure for when shit kicks off for real.
We’ll probably add more as we hear of them, send us yours!
We’ve been lucky to mark International Workers Day (1st May) with some effective & fun demonstrations and direct actions for the past four years.
Last year we directly a large local organisation to end all involvement with workfare – picture of the demo is the one above! This year we hope to build on that, and our other anti workfare successes.
Boycott Workfare have called for a week of action that covers May Day, we aim to target a couple of companies who are profiting from the forced exploitation it represents – and hopefully help out some people affected by the schemes at the same time.
We’ll post more details nearer the time, yes we know its during the day on a workday but we also know a lot of you use any means at your disposal to avoid working on May Day! If you are forced into it you have our sympathy, if not see you on the streets again!
“THE DAY WILL COME WHEN OUR SILENCE WILL BE MORE POWERFUL THAN THE VOICES YOU ARE THROTTLING TODAY.”
– (August Spies on the scaffold before his execution)
South Wales Anarchists will be demonstating in Cardiff to celebrate this years May Day. Originally a pagan festival, the modern May Day bank holiday has its roots in the fight for the eight hour day and is celebrated across the globe as an International Workers’ Day to commemorate the anarchist trade union organisers who were executed in Chicago 1887. They were framed and wrongly accused of throwing a bomb at police breaking up a crowd in the Haymarket during a demonstration involving over 400,000 working in Chicago on May 4, 1886.
The anarchist idea did not die with these workers in 1887 and continues to be the inspiration for many fighting capitalism around the world. We call on all those struggling for a world of justice, dignity and freedom to come together and join us this May Day in Cardiff.
Bring your red and black flags and class struggle banners!
Meet at 12 noon at the southern end of St Mary St, under the railway bridge near the Great Western Wetherspoons. March starts at 12.30 through the streets of Cardiff City centre to…. somewhere with no bureaucrats’ speeches!!!
May 1, 2015: from Milan, capital of the crisis, to Europe.
After seven years of crisis the precarious pride has become rage and indignation against the burgeoning unemployment and the growth of poverty imposed by BCE & IMF to most of the population with austerity policies, particularly in Italy, Greece and the rest of the Latin Europe. Social slaughter, plunder of wealth and common goods, the end of the public city are the bases upon which governments build their response to the economic crisis.
Make a week of it:
APRIL 28: INTERNATIONAL NO EXPO CAMPING. Until May 3 with debates and workshops
APRIL 29: THE CITY OF MILAN AGAINST THE FASCIST MARCH
APRIL 30: NATIONAL STUDENTS DEMONSTRATION
MAY 1: #NOEXPOMAYDAY
MAY 2: MOBILIZATIONS AGAINST EXPO
MAY 3: GENERAL ASSEMBLY for 6 months of mobilizations
FROM MAY 3: 6 months of meetings and conflict against and beyond the Expo paradigm.
Tyne & Wear:
As parts of Britain wallowed in UKIP xenophobia, members of Solent Solidarity Federation joined our comrades in CNT-AIT Caen for their May Day celebrations as guests of the local. The annual parade through the historic town was well supported with a significant Anarchist bloc, though we understand general attendance was a little down on previous years.
The Babylon were mostly conspicuous by their absence, only a handful of cops about, in contrast to the enormous police operation that would inevitably accompany such a rally in the U.K.
Our parade was followed by a picnic in the sun; we enjoyed great hospitality, had many political discussions, sang a bit and generally had a good laugh.
This is what May Day is all about; the Working Class has no country, Solidarity Forever!
The ‘Haymarket Affair’, Chicago Martyrs, ‘bomb throwing anarchists’ and the fight for the eight-hour working day.
In 1887 four Chicago anarchists were executed. A fifth cheated the hangman by killing himself in prison. Three more were to spend 6 years in prison until pardoned by Governor Altgeld who said the trial that convicted them was characterised by “hysteria, packed juries and a biased judge”. The state had, in the words of the prosecution put “Anarchy.. on trial” and hoped their deaths would also be the death of the anarchist idea… Read the full story on Libcom.
There was never any pretence of proving their guilt, then as now, working class self-organisation was treated as a menace, to be eliminated by fair means or foul.
“We are all creatures of circumstance; we are what we have been made to be. This truth is becoming clearer day by day …
… My children — well, their father had better die in the endeavor to secure their liberty and happiness than live contented in a society which condemns nine-tenths of its children to a life of wage-slavery and poverty.” – Albert to Lucy Parsons, in his final letter.
Adolph Fischer, Albert Parsons, August Spies, George Engel, Louis Lingg, Michael Schwab, Oscar Neebe, and Samuel Fielden are brought back to life every May Day by the actions of militant workers across the world. (And not a fucking tank in sight!)
“If you think that by hanging us you can stamp out the labour movement… the movement from which the downtrodden millions, the millions who toil in misery and want, expect salvation – if this is your opinion, then hang us! Here you will tread on a spark, but there and there, behind you – and in front of you, and everywhere, flames blaze up. It is a subterranean fire. You cannot put it out”. – August Spies.
Take to the streets this May Day! What are you waiting for?
The irrepressible South Wales Anarchists and comrades celebrated Mayday with an anarchist picnic in the city centre. Assorted free literature, free food in the shape of bread rolls and spicy veg stew provided by Food Not Bombs Cardiff plus free entertainment from local acts busking in the shadow of Nye Bevan’s statue. A sunny day brought a crowd out and some interesting conversations were had.
The event also marks the launch of their stylish new website The A Hole.
We also managed to slot in a couple of workfare pickets: Primark and Poundland, I can report that management and security at both are proper bell-ends. We then adjourned to the boozer and it all gets a bit hazy after that…
May Day is our day! – International Workers’ Day, and this is what it’s all about: The Anarchist origins of May Day (pdf)
Mayday roundup from London