Contemporary Anarchism

DOSSIER

CONTEMPORARY ANARCHISM 

ANARCHISM AND SYNDICALISM IN THE WHOLE WORLD (1990-2019)

Editor: Felipe Corrêa

Last update: October 2020

CONTENTS

PRESENTATION
1. STUDIES ON “CONTEMPORARY ANARCHISM”
2. THEORETICAL AND METHODOLOGICAL REFERENCES
3. TO UNDERSTAND THE CONTEXT IN QUESTION
4. GEOGRAPHIC PRESENCE
5. SIGNIFICANT CURRENTS AND EXPRESSIONS
     5.1 SYNDICALIST MASS ORGANIZATIONS
     5.2 FLEXIBLE SPECIFIC ORGANIZATIONS (“SYNTHESISTS”)
     5.3 PROGRAM-BASED SPECIFIC ORGANIZATIONS (“PLATFORMISTS”/”ESPECIFISTAS”)
     5.4 INSURRECTIONARY GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS
     5.5 DIVERSE COLLECTIVES
     5.6 ANTI-AUTHORITARIANS AND LIBERTARIANS IN GENERAL

6. SIGNIFICANT DEBATES
7. IMPORTANT ACHIEVEMENTS AND RELEVANT EPISODES
     7.1 TRANSNATIONAL EFFORTS 
          7.1.1 SYNDICALIST NETWORKS, ORGANIZATIONS AND GATHERINGS
          7.1.2 ANARCHIST NETWORKS, ORGANIZATIONS AND GATHERINGS
          7.1.3 ZAPATISMO, GLOBAL JUSTICE MOVEMENT AND INDYMEDIA
          7.1.4 ANTIFA, ANARCHIST BLACK CROSS AND BLACK BLOC
          7.1.5 RESEARCH AND URBAN SUBCULTURES
     7.2 WESTERN AND NORDIC EUROPE
          7.2.1 THE FORCE OF SYNDICALIST ORGANIZATIONS IN SPAIN AND SWEDEN
          7.2.2 MOBILIZATIONS AND STRIKES AGAINST IMPERIALISM, NEOLIBERALISM AND WOMEN’S OPPRESSION IN THE SPAIN-FRANCE-ITALY TRIANGLE
          7.2.3 ANARCHIST PROPAGANDA IN FRANCE AND ITALY AND OTHER EUROPEAN EXPERIENCES
     7.3 EASTERN EUROPE
          7.3.1 ANARCHO-SYNDICALISM IN RUSSIA AND FINAL CONFLICTS OF THE SOVIET UNION
          7.3.2 THE 2008 RIOTS AND THE MOVEMENT AGAINST AUSTERITY (2010-2012) IN GREECE
     7.4 NORTH AMERICA
          7.4.1 “SOLIDARITY UNIONISM” AND ANARCHIST PROPAGANDA IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA
          7.4.2 OCTOBER REBELLION (2007) AND OCCUPY WALL STREET (2011) IN THE UNITED STATES
     7.5 LATIN AMERICA
          7.5.1 ESPECIFISMO AND ITS DEVELOPMENTS IN URUGUAY, BRAZIL AND ARGENTINA
          7.5.2 ARGENTINAZZO (2001) AND PIQUETEROS IN ARGENTINA, PENGUINS REVOLUTION (2006), DEVELOPMENTS (2011-2012) AND 2019 MOBILIZATIONS IN CHILE
          7.5.3 OAXACA COMMUNE (2006) IN MEXICO AND JUNE PROTESTS (2013) IN BRAZIL
     7.6 SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
          7.6.1 SYNDICALISM IN NIGERIA AND SIERRA LEONE
          7.6.2 PLATFORMISM IN SOUTH AFRICA AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
     7.7 NORTH AFRICA
          7.7.1 ARAB SPRING AND IMPACTS IN TUNISIA AND EGYPT
     7.8 MIDDLE EAST
          7.8.1 ROJAVA REVOLUTION (FROM 2012 ON) IN NORTHERN SYRIA
          7.8.2 OTHER INITIATIVES IN ISRAEL, PALESTINE, TURKEY, LEBANON, AFGHANISTAN AND IRAN
     7.9 OCEANIA 
          7.9.1 TRAM DISPUTE (1990) IN AUSTRALIA AND THE INFLUENCE IN SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
     7.10 SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
          7.10.1 SYNDICALISM IN BANGLADESH AND INDONESIA AND OTHER ASIAN EXPERIENCES
8. HISTORY AND THEORY: CLASS, ECOLOGY, RACE/ETHNICITY, NATIONALITY, GENDER AND SEXUALITY
     8.1 RECOVERY ON HISTORIOGRAPHY AND ACADEMIC PRESENCE AT UNIVERSITIES
     8.2 DATABASES, RESEARCH INSTITUTES AND NETWORKS, JOURNALS, ACADEMIC GROUPS AND CONFERENCES
     8.3 THEORETICAL PRODUCTIONS: SOCIAL CLASSES
     8.4 THEORETICAL PRODUCTIONS: ECOLOGY
     8.5 THEORETICAL PRODUCTIONS: RACE/ETHNICITY AND NATIONALITY
     8.6 THEORETICAL PRODUCTIONS: GENDER AND SEXUALITY
     8.7 PRACTICES LINKED TO THESE THEORETICAL ISSUES
9. OTHER RELEVANT SOURCES

PRESENTATION

This dossier was carried out from a nearly two-year survey, which aimed to analyze the resurgence of anarchism, anarcho-syndicalism and revolutionary syndicalism, which occurred worldwide between 1990 and 2019.

The research started thanks to an invitation from Marcel van der Linden — member of the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam (IISG) — who asked me to write a chapter on the topic for his book Global History of Socialism, which will be published in some time in two volumes by Cambridge University Press.

I then dedicated myself to this issue, facing enormous challenges: to understand an immense subject and condensing the results of the research in a restricted space (and, therefore, prioritizing very well what would or would not enter the text); to analyze a recent phenomenon, which does not count on previous studies (with this recent and global approach with which I worked), large data surveys, and not even texts or books about it; to search for widely dispersed information in several languages.

Facing this challenge would not have been possible without the studies and militancy developed over more than two decades, as well as the help of several men and women, to whom I would like to express my deepest thanks. I highlight, in particular: the members of the Institute for Anarchist Theory and History (IATH), both the coordinators and the associates; volunteers from the “Contemporary Global Anarchism / Syndicalism” group created on Facebook, who significantly assisted in data collection; the countless people from Brazil and abroad who indicated material and / or who answered the dozens of interviews I conducted. I also thank José Antonio Gutiérrez Danton and Jonathan Payn for their help with translations and critical comments of my manuscript and this dossier. 

With this research, I came up with quite interesting results. A summary of them will be published in the referred to book. The chapter will come under the title “The Global Revival of Anarchism and Syndicalism (1990-2019)” and, soon, I will conduct a video course (in Portuguese…) with the referred results. Obviously, these are limited results, with enormous possibilities for further study.

In this dossier, I provide some sources of my research, including books, texts, websites, videos and interviews, in different languages. I also make some comments to guide the reading. This is not a complete list of everything that exists, but a set of sources through which I believe it is possible to understand contemporary anarchism. This will allow not only a more in-depth knowledge of the topic, but also that other researchers can use this material for further investigations.

For any corrections or suggestions of important materials on the subjects discussed, I ask that you write to me at felipecorreapedro@gmail.com.

Good reading!

Felipe Corrêa, 2020


1. STUDIES ON “CONTEMPORARY ANARCHISM”

newanarch

The subject “contemporary anarchism” does not have major studies, especially when taking into account the historical and global approach that I believe is the most suitable for research of this type. Most studies on this topic have been produced by authors from / influenced by the Global Justice Movement (or “Anti-Globalization Movement”) and some of its subsequent developments. If, undoubtedly, these studies have qualities, they do also have countless limits. Among them, mainly the extremely broad and a-historical definitions of anarchism with which they work and the (Eurocentric) generalizations made on an extremely restricted database. Below I highlight some of these studies.

  • David Graeber, “The New Anarchists”, New Left Review, 13 (2002). [Download]
  • Andrej Grubacic, “Towards Another Anarchism”, ZNet (2003). [Download]
  • Andrej Grubacic and David Graeber, “Anarchism, Or The Revolutionary Movement Of The Twenty-first Century”, ZNet (2004). [Download]
  • Uri Gordon, Anarchy Alive! Anti-authoritarian Politics from Practice to Theory (London, 2008). [Download]
  • Uri Gordon, “Anarchism Reloaded”, Journal of Political Ideologies, 12 (2007). [Download]
  • Tomás Ibáñez, Anarquismo en Movimiento: anarquismo, neoanarquismo y postanarquismo (Buenos Aires, 2014).

Other texts on the subject, which work with different approaches, are:

  • Leonard Williams, “Anarchism Revived”, New Political Science, 29 (2007). [Download]
  • Dana M. Williams, “Contemporary Anarchist and Anarchistic
    Movements”, Sociology Compass, 12 (2018). [Download]

From a historical and global perspective, which I understand to be the most suitable for the study of contemporary anarchism, I indicate some texts that, in my view, are more interesting on the subject:

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  • Lucien van der Walt, “Back to the future: revival, relevance and route
    of an anarchist/syndicalist approach for twenty-first-century left, labour and national liberation movements”, Journal of Contemporary African Studies (2016). [Download]
  • Steven Hirsch and Lucien van der Walt, “Final Reflections: the vicisitudes of anarchist and syndicalist trajectories, 1940 to the present”, Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1870-1940 (Leiden/Boston, 2010). [Download]
  • Felipe Corrêa, “Surgimento e Breve Perspectiva Histórica do Anarquismo”, Instituto de Teoria e História Anarquista (2013). [Read (in Portuguese)]

2. THEORETICAL AND METHODOLOGICAL REFERENCES

In order to understand contemporary anarchism, as stated, it seems to me fundamental, first, to adopt a historical and global approach, to break with the historical studies (subsidized in theoretical / practical approaches, self-definitions, etymologies etc.) and with the Eurocentrism (extrapolating the Western Europe and the United States and significantly expanding the territorial analytical scope). And, second, working with a precise conceptual definition of anarchism, based on a global analysis of its 150 years of history. Here are some references to this approach.

Felipe Corrêa. “Bandeira Negra: rediscutindo o anarquismo” (PDF do ...

  • Felipe Corrêa, Bandeira Negra: rediscutindo o anarquismo (Curitiba, 2015). [Download (in Portuguese)] Volunteers to do translation, please get in touch!
    • This content is also presented on video:
      • History on Tape – Interview with Felipe Corrêa (on “Bandeira Negra”) [View (in English)]
    • There are also other videos in Portuguese (Volunteers to do subtitles, please get in touch!):
      • Apresentação de “Bandeira Negra” [View]
      • “Anarquismo Redefinido” [View]
      • “Surgimento do Anarquismo, Grandes Debates e Suas Correntes [View]
  • Lucien van der Walt, “Global Anarchism and Syndicalism: theory, history, resistance”, Anarchist Studies, 24 (2016). [Read]
  • For other references that we have developed along the same lines, see IATH’s Thematic Axis: “Global Theory and History of Anarchism”. [Read]

3. TO UNDERSTAND THE CONTEXT IN QUESTION

In my view, there are three most relevant contextual elements for understanding the period in question:

1.) The crisis of “progressive statism” and the left in general (Keynesian welfare state and social democracy, “socialist” and Marxism-Leninism bloc; import substitution industrialization and anti-imperialist nationalism).

2.) The global expansion of neoliberalism, which, increasingly financialized, led to the resumption of profits by the dominant classes, dramatically increasing the power of international banks and multinationals.

3.) The emergence and strengthening of movements of resistance to neoliberalism that, in many cases, even keeping to the left of the political spectrum, have adopted a critical vision on statism. Among them, the Zapatista Movement, the Global Justice Movement and innovative forms of unionism.

To understand these elements, I indicate below some references that I believe are important.
Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order | Amazon.com.br

  • Peter Taylor, “The Crisis of the Movements: the enabling state as quisling”, Antipode, 23 (1991). [Download]
  • Lucien van der Walt, “Self-Managed Class-Struggle Alternatives to Neo-liberalism, Nationalisation, Elections”, Global Labour Column, 213 (2015). [Download]
  • Lucien van der Walt, “Back to the Future: revival, relevance and route of an anarchist/syndicalist approach for twenty-first century left, labour and national liberation movements”, Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 34 (2016). [Download
  • Noam Chomsky, Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order (New York, 1999). [Read]
  • Michel Chossudovsky, Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order (Montreal/Quebec, 2003). [Read]
  • David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism (Oxford, 2005).
  • Ladislau Dowbor, The Age of Unproductive Capital: New architectures of power (Newcastle, 2019).
  • José Arbex Jr., Revolução em Três Tempos: URSS, Alemanha, China (São Paulo, 1999).
  • Mark Bray, ANTIFA: The anti-fascist handbook (New York/London, 2017). [Download]
  • Charles Tilly and Lesley Wood, Social Movements, 1768-2008 (Boulder/London, 2009).
  • Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN), Ya Basta! Ten years of the Zapatista Uprising (Oakland, 2004).
  • Uri Gordon, Anarchy Alive! Anti-authoritarian Politics from Practice to Theory (London, 2008). [Download]
  • Immanuel Ness (ed), New Forms of Worker Organization: The syndicalist and autonomist restoration of class-struggle unionism (Oakland, 2014). [Download]

It is worth mentioning that, in order to properly understand the contemporary resurgence of anarchism, it is necessary to unite the structural and conjunctural elements with the action of anarchists, anarcho-syndicalists and revolutionary syndicalists, who played a central role in this resurgence. In the following lines, many of these initiatives will be mentioned.


4. GEOGRAPHIC PRESENCE

After analyzing the presence and influence of anarchism, anarcho-syndicalism and revolutionary unionism in the different countries of the world between 1990 and 2019, I arrived at the results that I incorporated in the map below.

Map: “Global Anarchist/Syndicalist Presence and Impact (1990-2019)”.

Inglês Colorido para Dossie Site

On this map you can see all the countries in which I found the presence of anarchist, anarcho-syndicalist and revolutionary syndicalist expressions. They are, by region: North America: United States and Canada. Central America and the Caribbean: Mexico, Cuba and Costa Rica. South America: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and French Guiana. Nordic Europe: Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. Western Europe: France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Ireland, United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland and Iceland. Eastern Europe: Greece, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia. Middle East and Central Asia: Syria, Israel and Palestine, Turkey, Lebanon, Iran and Iraq. Far East: Japan, South Korea and China. Southeast and South Asia: Indonesia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and East Timor. North Africa: Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria. Sub-Saharan Africa: South Africa, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Uganda. Oceania: Australia and New Zealand.

I was also able to notice the impact of these expressions, which was measured from a set of variables: size, constancy, political and social influence, level of national diffusion, theoretical elaborations and practical achievements.

However, it is important to keep in mind that, even in the places of greatest presence and influence, in general terms, anarchism, anarcho-syndicalism and revolutionary syndicalism were, in comparison to other sectors of the left, and even with other revolutionary sectors, a minority force. A growing, relevant force, which has become better known, respected and significantly intervenes in the global reality; but still, a minority force.


5. SIGNIFICANT CURRENTS AND EXPRESSIONS

 

During the period in question, the way of acting of anarchists, anarcho-syndicalists and revolutionary syndicalists, as well as the positions they adopted in the face of the great debates carried out, allow us to speak of six major currents and expressions, which are listed below: 1.) Syndicalist mass organizations; 2.) Flexible anarchist organizations (“synthesists”); 3.) Program-based anarchist organizations (“platformists” / “especifistas”); 4.) Insurrectionary groups and individuals; 5.) Diverse collectives; 6.) Anti-authoritarians and libertarians in general.

I present here some characteristics of these currents and expressions, their main networks and international organizations, and I indicate some documents produced within these currents and expressions for a deepening of their conceptions.

* It is worth noting that it is not possible to compare the absolute number of members of the currents (the result of surveys that I made during the research) without taking into account the type of organization in question and their criteria for entry and participation. For example, a syndicalist organization and a “specific” anarchist organization, each with 300 members, can have very different impacts in reality. In addition, it is also very important to note that most anarchists in the world are not organized, so that the total number of anarchists in the world far exceeds the numbers mentioned below.

5.1 SYNDICALIST MASS ORGANIZATIONS

Characterization: Anarcho-syndicalist and revolutionary syndicalist organizations that intend to be mass organizations. They are mainly linked to the field of work, intending to articulate workers on an economic basis to conduct struggles for immediate gains as well as the revolutionary struggle. Their members do not necessarily have to identify with anarchism, which, depending on the case, can be more or less promoted by the organization itself. They use consensus and voting (in different modalities) to make decisions and articulate themselves in multi-trade unions, as industrial unions or as groups within bigger unions.

Historical references: Mainly the International Workers’ Association of 1922/3 (or “Syndicalist International”).

International representations:

  • International Workers’ Association (IWA-AIT). Historically, it is the most important organization in this camp; founded in 1922/3 and going through a crisis with World War II, it has grown again since the 1970s. However, with a huge split in 2016 (which meant the loss of 80% or 90% of its membership base), it decreased its strength a lot. In 2019 it had around 1,000 members, divided into 13 national organizations and 6 “friends” organizations, mainly in Europe and Oceania, and with more modest articulations in the Americas and Asia. [https://iwa-ait.org/]
  •  
  • Red and Black Coordination (RBC). It was articulated in the years 2010, bringing together dissident and / or non-IWA-AIT organizations. In 2019, it brought together seven trade union organizations from Europe, with about 100,000 members (most of them from the Spanish CGT). [http://www.redblack.org/]
  • International Confederation of Labour (ICL-CIT). Founded in 2018 by organizations that split with IWA-AIT and articulated with others from RBC. In 2019, it had around 10,000 members, divided into seven organizations, mainly from Europe, North America and, to a lesser extent, South America. [https://www.icl-cit.org/]
  • International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggles (ILNSS). It was founded in 2013, as a broader articulation proposal. It brings together both revolutionary and anarcho-syndicalist organizations, while others, which, even in the camp of class struggle and combative unionism, do not work with self-management and federalist practices, nor independence from political parties. [http://www.laboursolidarity.org/]

To better understand its conceptions:

  • International Workers’ Association (IWA-AIT), “The Statutes of Revolutionary Unionism (IWA)” (2020). [Read]
  • International Confederation of Labour (ICL-CIT), “Statutes of the International Confederation of Labour” (2018). [Read]

CGT denuncia la “política antisindical” de PPG Ibérica en ...

5.2 FLEXIBLE SPECIFIC ORGANIZATIONS (“SYNTHESISTS”)

Characterization: Specific anarchist organizations (that is, their members identify themselves as anarchists) dedicated to different types of work, in particular propaganda, but also participating in social struggles. They are heterogeneous and allow a plurality of ideas and trends, as well as a diversity of conceptions of anarchism, theories, strategies and tactics, so that its groups and members have full autonomy (including whether or not to accept congressional and other instances’ deliberations).

Historical references: In addition to the classics in general (Mikhail Bakunin, Piotr Kropotkin, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon), initiatives such as the Anti-Authoritarian International of 1872, the Bologna Congress of 1920, and the contributions of Errico Malatesta, Sébastien Faure and Volin.

International representations:

To better understand its conceptions:

  • Fédération Anarchiste [Francophone] (FAF), “Principes de Base / Pacte Associatif de la Fédération Anarchiste” (2016). [Read]
  • Federazione Anarchica Italiana (FAI), “Patto Associativo della Federazione Anarchica Italiana – F.A.I.” (s/d). [Read]

Conférence de presse à la librairie Publico | Le blog de Floréal

5.3 PROGRAM-BASED SPECIFIC ORGANIZATIONS (“PLATFORMISTS” / “ESPECIFISTAS”)

Characterization: Specific anarchist organizations dedicated to building and participating in mass movements (union, community, student, etc.) and propaganda. They are homogenous and work with the organization on two levels (anarchist and mass) and, at the anarchist level, defend theoretical unity, tactical, strategic, programmatic unity and collective responsibility. They have common lines, mandatory for their groups, nuclei and members. They seek consensus, but, if impossible, they work with different forms of voting.

Historical references: Bakunin and the Alliance, the first anarchist political organization in history; Dielo Trouda and the 1926 “Organizational Platform”, classics like Malatesta, Luigi Fabbri, Kropotkin and others.

International representations:

To better understand its conceptions:

  • Federación Anarquista Uruguaya (FAU), “Declaración de Principios de FAU” (1993). [Read]
  • Zabalaza Communist Anarchist Front (ZACF), “Constitution of the ZACF” (2013). [Read]
  • Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici (FdCA), “The Political Organization” (1985). [Read]

anarkismo

5.4 INSURRECTIONARY GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS

Characterization: Individuals, affinity groups and informal associations critical of mass and specific structured organizations, and who see violent actions (based on the notion of constant, permanent attack, and the refusal of any waiting, mediation or commitment) as possible triggers to generate immediate insurrections and revolutionary movements. They have no formal decision-making bodies and often talk without knowing each other; they have complete autonomy to promote their goals.

Historical references: More fluid than the others, they are linked to the classic contributions of anarchists like Luigi Galleani, Ravachol, Severino Di Giovanni and others — generally associated with the notion of “propaganda by the deed”, anarchist illegalism and the Black International of 1881 –, and also to most recent contributions (Alfredo Bonanno, for example).

International representations:

  • Informal Anarchist Federation / International Revolutionary Front (IAF/IRF). Informal network focused on the Mediterranean region (mainly Greece and Italy) that has developed since 2002/3. In 2011, it brought together several groups, not only in the region in question, but also in other European and Latin American countries. As they often operate clandestinely, it is more difficult to estimate their dimensions, but it is possible to say that those with some articulation are probably less numerous than flexible and program-based organizations.
    • Some members (2011): Conspiracy of Cells of Fire (CCF, Greece), Cooperativa Artigiana… (Italy), Brigada 20 de julho (Italy).

To better understand its conceptions:

  • Federazione Anarchica Informale (FAI), “Premier Communiqué de la FAI”, Agence de Presse Associative, APA (2004). [Read]
  • Killing King Abacus (KKA), Some Notes on Insurrectionary Anarchism (Santa Cruz, 2006). [Read]
  • Do or Die, “Insurrectionary Anarchy!”, Do or Die, 10 (2003). [Read]

MAESTRO DI DIETROLOGIA: NOME IN CODICE: "OLGA"... !!! OVVERO L ...

5.5 DIVERSE COLLECTIVES

Characterization: Groups (political collectives, propaganda groups, urban squats, social centers, infoshops, publishers, newspapers, libraries, research groups, cooperatives, communities etc.) that, in some cases, are composed exclusively of anarchists and, in others, also bring together militants from other anti-authoritarian currents. They are present in all regions that have an anarchist presence; depending on the case, they are local, regional or even national references. There are many hundreds, probably thousands around the world.

Historical references: Varied, ranging from classic and contemporary anarchism, to the theoretical and practical contributions of other libertarian currents.

5.6 ANTI-AUTHORITARIANS AND LIBERTARIANS IN GENERAL

Characterization: Movements, groups and individuals that can be called anti-authoritarian or libertarian in the broad sense. As with the collectives, they may be more or less close to anarchism, may or may not have participation by anarchists and be linked to the conceptions of libertarian Marxism, autonomism, certain indigenisms, religious expressions etc.


6. SIGNIFICANT DEBATES

These currents and expressions have to do with the responses to various questions at the heart of the anarchist/syndicalist debates. Some of these questions will be presented in the following paragraphs.

  • Do you believe it necessary to organize with others? If yes, do you agree to organize with non-anarchists? If this is the case, how is this relationship?
  • In the case of organization, how to organize? Mass or specific organizations? Or informal “organizations”? When it comes to mass organizations, how do labor and community relate?
  • Do you accept the national labor legislation? Do you participate in the election of union committees or representatives, in those countries where these forms of representation exist? Do you accept resources from the state directly or indirectly? Do you agree with participating in reformist or non-anarchist unions or social movements?
  • In the case of specific organizations, do you adopt a flexible (heterogeneous) or program-based (homogeneous) model? Which is the level of autonomy and unity allowed or expected from militants and groups?
  • Which is the main area of activity? To build and participate in mass movements, propaganda and education, armed attacks, etc.?
  • What is the understanding of struggle? Permanent attack or an understanding of the conditions to go forward or to back up as determined by historical conditions?
  • How does decision-making work? Do you accept voting?
  • Do the militants and groups know each other?
  • Do you accept to delegate? If you do, on what grounds?
  • Do you accept to struggle for short-term reforms? If you do, in what cases? Do you articulate a minimum program to the maximum program? Do you accept negotiations, conciliation or mediation in struggles? Do you care about public opinion?
  • How do you understand the relationship between revolutionary violence and mass movements and struggles?
  • How do you gravitate towards principlism (complete political rigidity, because “reality is imperfect”) or pragmatism (everything goes in order to intervene in reality, even to betray one’s own principles)? What initiatives are you participating in and what type of alliances are you looking for?

7. IMPORTANT ACHIEVEMENTS AND RELEVANT EPISODES

Below is a list of important achievements and relevant episodes in which anarchists, anarcho-syndicalists and revolutionary syndicalists were involved, with more or less presence / impact, depending on the case. Achievements are exposed by continents and themes; I indicate throughout the text bibliography and sources for further study.

 

7.1 TRANSNATIONAL EFFORTS

7.1.1 SYNDICALIST NETWORKS, ORGANIZATIONS AND GATHERINGS  

Here, it is worth mentioning the important experiences already mentioned: International Workers’ Association (IWA-AIT), Red and Black Coordination (RBC), International Confederation of Labour (ICL-CIT) and International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggles (ILNSS). Some sources to deepen the knowledge of these networks and organizations — as well as the split of IWA-AIT, the formation of RBC and ICL-CIT — are, in addition to the websites already mentioned:

  • Vadim Damier, Anarcho-Syndicalism in the 20th Century (Edmonton, 2009). [Download]
  • Laure Akai, “Why do We Need a Third International?”, The Anarchist Library (2016). [Download]
  • Confederación Nacional del Trabajo – Secretaria de Exteriores (CNT-SE), “Beyond the IWA: an interview with the CNT’s International Secretary (2 parts)” (2017). [Read]
  • Rabioso, “The CNT and the IWA (2 parts)” (2016). [Read Part I] [Read Part II]
  • Website: Lifelong Wobbly. [Read]

70th anniversary = 70. anniversario, IAA = IWA = AIT ; XIX ...

In addition, there is the prominent case of Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) which, at least before joining ICL-CIT, developed during the period in question as an international network. Between 1990 and 2019, in addition to its most prominent presence in the United States and Canada, it had a less significant existence in: Great Britain, Germany, Finland, Iceland, Russia, Poland, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Australia and New Zealand. [https://iww.org/] The most interesting historiographic framework that addresses the period studied is as follows.

  • Fred Thompson and Jon Bekken, The Industrial Workers of the World: It’s First 100 Years (Cincinnati, 2006).

In addition, from an international perspective, another highlight was the International Syndicalist Gatherings, with the participation of several organizations of this current to discuss the international situation and encourage internationalism. Such meetings were held in the United States in 1999 (i99), in Germany in 2002 (i02) and in France in 2007 (i07). This last meeting, convened by CNT-F (Vignoles), brought together dozens of centrals and unions from around the world; African unions were those which participated in the largest number. About the i07, there are some interesting references on the internet.

    • Confédération Nationale du Travail – France (CNT-F), “Conférences Internationales Syndicales – i07 (different materials)” (2007). [Read]

7.1.2 ANARCHIST NETWORKS, ORGANIZATIONS AND GATHERINGS

It is also worth emphasizing the outstanding experiences mentioned: International of Anarchist Federations (IAF), Anarkismo.net Network and Informal Anarchist Federation / International Revolutionary Front (IAF/IRF). Below, I indicate some sources to deepen the knowledge of these networks and organizations.

IAF AND FLEXIBLE ORGANIZATIONS (SYNTHESISTS)

  • IFA, Histoire de l’Internationale des Fédérations Anarchistes (IFA), 3 vol. (no date).
  • IFA, IFA: The Magazine of the International of Anarchist Federations, 1 (2018?). [Download]
  • IFA, Anarkiista Debato: Magazine of IAF (2006?). [Download]
  • Fédération Anarchiste [Francophone] (FAF), “Pour un Anarchisme du XXIe Siècle” (no date). [Read]

Projets de couvertures pour ouvrage en 3 tomes - La vie en Mauve

ANARKISMO.NET AND PROGRAM-BASED ORGANIZATIONS (“PLATFORMISTS”/”ESPECIFISTAS”)

  • Felipe Corrêa, “Sobre Anarkismo.net: entrevista a Jose Antonio Gutierrez Danton, uno de los fundadores” (2020). [Download]
  • Anarchism and the Platformist Tradition, “Recent Writtings”. [Read]
  • Anarchism and the Platformist Tradition, “The Global Influence of Platformism Today: Interviews”. [Read]
  • Anarchism and the Platformist Tradition, “Especifismo Anarquista”. [Read]

INFORMAL ANARCHIST FEDERATION / INTERNATIONAL REVOLUTIONARY FRONT AND INSURRECTIONALIST INITIATIVES

  • Act for Freedom Now, “Our Lives of Burning Vision” (2011). [Download]
  • Conspiracy of Cells of Fire (CCF), “Mapping the Fire: International Words of Solidarity with the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire” (2012). [Download]
    • Alfredo Cospito (Conspiracy of Cells of Fire), “‘A Few Words of “Freedom’: Interview by CCF – Imprisoned Members Cell with Alfredo Cospito’, The Anarchist Library (2014). [Download]
  • Federazione Anarchica Informale (FAI), “Quattro Anni… Documento Incontro FAI a 4 Anni dalla Nascita”, Sebben che siamo donne (2006). [Read]
  • Federazione Anarchica Informale / Fronte Rivoluzionario Internazionale (FAI/FRI), “Non Dite che Siamo Pochi”, Informa-Azione (2011). [Read]
    • Anarcopedia, “Federazione Anarchica Informale”. [Read]
  • Act for Freedom Now, “Revolutionary Struggle: a Collection of Letters, Texts and Communiques from an Armed Groupe in Greece and Their Accused” (2011?). [Download]

In addition to meetings and congresses of the networks and organizations in question, on different occasions there were other International Anarchist Gatherings, more or less global depending on the context, with theoretical and practical purposes. Examples are the International Libertarian Gathering in Spain (1995), or the gathering of the Anti-Authoritarian Insurrectionary International (Italy, 2000), the Anarchists Encounters (Brazil, 2002), the International Anarcha-Femminist Conference (England, 2014), and the Mediterranean Anarchist Gathering (Tunis, 2015). In 2012, the International Anarchist Gathering in Switzerland, which took place in St Imier, brought together thousands of people from all over the world for five days of activities.

  • “Internationale Antiautoritaire Insurrectionaliste – Première rencontre” (2000). [Read]
  • Federación Anarquista Uruguaya, “Declaración final de las Jornadas Anarquistas de Porto Alegre en el 2002” (2002). [Read]
  • Anarcha-Feminist Conference (AFem2014). [Read]
    • Romina Akemi and Bree Busk, “Breaking the Waves: Challenging the Liberal Tendency within Anarchist Feminism”, Institute for Anarchist Studies (2016). [Read]
  • Le Commun Libertaire, Internacional de Federações Anarquistas e Federação Anarquista Francesa, “Tunisie, Appel à une Première Rencontre Anarchiste Méditerranéenne! Mars 2015” (2014). [Read]
  • Le Monde Libertaire (ed), Saint Imier 1872-2012: Rencontres Internationales Anarchistes…. Le Monde Libertaire Hors-série n° 46 (2012).
    • Some Videos (Rencontres Internationales Anarchistes, 2012). [View]

Le Blog du groupe Proudhon de la Fédération anarchiste (Besançon)

7.1.3 ZAPATISMO, GLOBAL JUSTICE MOVEMENT AND INDYMEDIA

As I mentioned, major anti-authoritarian and libertarian movements were formed between 1990 and 2019. The most influential of them is the armed indigenous movement of Mexico — the Zapatista Movement –, led by the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN). This movement became public in 1994 in the fight against neoliberalism and was raised to the status of a world reference in this fight. At the same time, it developed a very interesting practice in the collective administration of 55 municipalities in the Chiapas region, where 300,000 people live. Even though it was not an anarchist movement, Zapatismo had a great influence on anarchists. There were, very marginally, contributions by anarchists, anarcho-syndicalists and revolutionary syndicalists, both from Mexico (Self-Managing Libertarian Unity and the Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation) and other countries (Spanish General Confederation of Labor, for instance) to their experience. Here are some references to the Zapatista movement below. Regarding the participation of anarchists, all I got was in interviews that will not be published.

  • Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN), Ya Basta! Ten years of the Zapatista Uprising (Oakland, 2004).
  • Enlace Zapatista. [Read]
  • Emilio Gennari, “EZLN: passos de uma rebeldia”, Pegada, 5 (2004). [Read]

Zapatistas were among the signatories who, in 1998, founded Peoples’ Global Action (PGA), a network of social movements that spearheaded the Global Justice Movement and coordinated the Global Action Days against neoliberalism. Another influential movement of this wave, proposed to be a global instrument for communication and coordination of those who fight against the destruction of humanity and the environment by capitalist globalization, and who build local alternatives and popular powers. Massive global mobilizations took place from 1999 onwards, the one in Seattle, in November that year, giving global visibility to the movement, which kept its momentum until 2002. Notwithstanding the fact that the bulk of the mobilizations took place in the US and Europe, there were considerable actions on other continents, and anarchists were very influential.

  • Peoples’ Global Action (PGA), “PGA Bulletin, num. 0”, Archive of Global Protests (1997). [Read]
  • Bruno Fiuza e Márcio Bustamante, “Uma História Oral da Ação Global dos Povos: pesquisa ativista a serviço das lutas sociais”, Anais do XIV Encontro Nacional de História Oral (2018). [Download]
  • Ned Ludd, Urgência das Ruas: Black Bloc, Reclaim the Streets e os Dias de Ação Global (São Paulo, 2002). [Read]
  • Barbara Epstein, “Anarchism and the Anti-Globalization Movement”, Montly Review, 53 (2001). [Read]
  • Uri Gordon, Anarchy Alive! Anti-authoritarian Politics from Practice to Theory (London, 2008). [Download]
  • Ross Wolfe, “The movement as an end-in-itself? An interview with David Graeber”, Platypus Review, 43 (2012). [Read]

As a global communication network linked to the “Anti-Globalization Movement”, and also with an important contribution from anarchists, in 1999 the Independent Media Center (Indymedia) appeared. Among other projects, it managed sites worldwide (in 2002, there were 90; in 2006, there were 150); its open access policy, the possibility of leaving comments by readers and the various technological tools developed before social media, not only broke with the hegemonic discourse of the mainstream media, giving voice to peoples’ movements, but it was also innovative, leading the way for the developments of later years technology-wise.

  • Eva Giraud, “Has Radical Participatory Online Media Really ‘Failed’? Indymedia and its legacies”, Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 20 (2014). [Download]
  • Dorothy Kidd, “Indimedia.org: a New Communication Commons”, M. McCaughey and M. Ayers, Cyberactivism: Online Activism in Theory and Practice (New York / London, 2003). [Download]
  • Adilson Cabral, “As Comunidades de Compartilhamento Social no Centro de Mídia Independente”, Intercom, 31 (2008). [Download]

7.1.4 ANTIFA, ANARCHIST BLACK CROSS AND BLACK BLOC

During this period, hundreds (perhaps a few thousand) of collectives were also formed, which often built transnational articulations, forming networks or even maintaining contact and influencing each other.

Among the most expressive cases are the various Antifa collectives around the world, some specifically anarchists, others of a broader composition. The growing internationalization of the Antifa militant model was central in the years in question, with the determining role of anarchists.

  • M. Testa, Militant Antifascism: a hundred years of resistance (Oakland, 2015). [Download]
  • Mark Bray, ANTIFA: The anti-fascist handbook (New York/London, 2017). [Download]

What is Antifa? | News | Al Jazeera

There are also the numerous groups of the Anarchist Black Cross (ABC), whose focus was directed at the work of supporting political prisoners. With an abolitionist perspective, they communicated with prisoners, visited them, provided political literature, raised funds and organized solidarity events.

  • Matthew Hart, “Yalensky’s Fable: A History of the Anarchist Black Cross”, The Anarchist Library (2003). [Download]
  • Anarchist Black Cross (ABC), “Starting an Anarchist Black Cross Group: A guide”, The Anarchist Library (2018). [Download]
  • A Las Barricadas, “’No debemos limitar JAMÁS nuestra lucha a las cuestiones legales’: Entrevista sobre la Cruz Negra Anarquista Latinoamerica”, A Las Barricadas (2008). [Read]

It is also worth mentioning the so-called Black Bloc, an action tactic used in street demonstrations, which has as its core the use of a common visual identity (masks and black clothes) and combative forms of protest, which include destruction of properties and fighting against police. It originated in Europe in the 1980s, spread transnationally in the wake of the global justice movement throughout the 1990s and 2000s, and could be noticed in locations as diverse as Brazil and Egypt in 2013. Anarchists were not the only ones to participate, but they were certainly central to this whole process.

  • Francis Dupuis-Déri. Who’s Afraid of the Black Blocs?: Anarchy in Action around the World (Oakland, 2014).
  • David Van Deusen and Xavier Massot (eds), The Black Bloc Papers: An Anthology of Primary Texts From The North American Anarchist Black Bloc, 1988-2005 (Shawnee Mission, 2010). [Download]
  • Francis Dupuis-Déri, “Black Blocs: abaixo às máscaras!”, Verve, 30 (2016). [Download]

Who's Afraid of the Black Blocs? Anarchy in Action around the ...

7.1.5 RESEARCH AND URBAN SUBCULTURES

At the same time, there were transnational initiatives in the academic and research fields, through the establishment of networks and institutes such as North American Anarchist Studies Network (NAASN) [http://naasn.org/], Anarchist Studies Network (ASN) [https://anarchiststudiesnetwork.org/] and the Institute for Anarchist Theory and History (ITHA-IATH) [https://ithanarquista.wordpress.com/].

There were also subcultural experiences, linked to punk (anarcho-punk mostly) that, in different countries, were critical to anarchism’s growth and, to a lesser degree, others linked to alternative rock, hardcore, straight edge, skinhead, hip-hop and organized ultras.

  • CrimethInc, “Music as a Weapon: The Contentious Symbiosis of Punk Rock and Anarchism”, CrimethInc (2018). [Read]
  • Jim Donaghey, “Bakunin Brand Vodka: An Exploration into Anarchist-punk and Punk-anarchism”, Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies, 1 (2013). [Download]
  • Jim Donaghey, Punk and Anarchism: UK, Poland, Indonesia (Loughborough, 2016). [Read]
  • Eduardo Ribeiro, Uma História Oral do Movimento Anarcopunk em São Paulo, 1988-2001 (Rio de Janeiro, 2019). [For an overview available online, see: “Anarcopunk SP — uma jornada de criatividade, resistência e luta” (2019).] [Read]

7.2 WESTERN AND NORDIC EUROPE

7.2.1 THE FORCE OF SYNDICALIST ORGANIZATIONS IN SPAIN AND SWEDEN

In Western and Nordic Europe, there are two other cases that stand out for their national dimensions. First, the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) in Spain. It is the largest revolutionary syndicalist organization in the world and the third largest central in Spain. In 2004, it had 60,000 members, more than 5,000 union delegates and represented more than 2 million Spanish workers. In the private sector, its greatest representation was found in bank workers, metallurgists, telecommunications and cleaning workers; in the public sector, it was on the railroad workers, postal workers, territorial collectives and regional televisions. After that, it continued to grow, reaching an impressive 100,000 members today; in addition to the sectors in question, it expanded its presence among telemarketing workers and precarious immigrants. In 2001, CGT articulated the Libertarian International Solidarity (SIL), with European and Latin American anarchist and syndicalist organizations.

  • Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT), 25 Aniversario del Congreso de Unificación, 1984-2009 (2009). [Download]
  • C.J., “Espagne: La CGT s’affirme comme la troisième organization syndicale”, Alternative Libertaire, 134 (2004). [Download]
  • José Manuel Muñoz Póliz (CGT), “Entrevista: ‘La clase trabajadora es la que está haciendo los esfuerzos una vez más’”, Cuartopoder.es (2020). [Read]
  • Wikiwand, “Confederación General del Trabajo” (España)[Read]
  • Lucha Libertaria, “Jornadas Libertarias [y SIL]” (2001). [Read]
  • CGT Website: https://cgt.org.es/.

Second, the Sveriges Arbetares Centralorganisation (SAC), which, despite decreasing in terms of members (from around 7,000 in 2001 to 3,000 in 2016), in proportion to the population of Sweden, is still the second largest European revolutionary syndicalist organization. In addition to the more traditional union struggles and campaigns, they articulated undocumented workers, fair trade campaigns, clandestine railroad organization, youth mobilization.

  • Gabriel Kuhn, “Syndicalism in Sweden: A hundred years of the SAC”, Immanuel Ness (ed), New Forms of Worker Organization: The syndicalist and autonomist restoration of class-struggle unionism (Oakland, 2014). [Download]
  • SAC Website: https://www.sac.se/.

Invitation to 20th anniversary of the Swedish Anarcho-syndicalist ...

It is also worth remembering that individuals and groups with an anarchist, anarcho-syndicalist and revolutionary syndicalist perspective also participated in broader unions: an interesting case is that of the Italians, who contributed to the construction of COBAS (Confederation of Base Committees), born in 1999 and organized in four federations, representing hundreds of thousands of workers.

  • Donato Romito, “Anarchist Communists and the Italian Base Union Movement”, Libcom (2008). [Read]
  • COBAS Website: http://www.cobas.it/.

7.2.2 MOBILIZATIONS AND STRIKES AGAINST IMPERIALISM, NEOLIBERALISM AND WOMEN’S OPPRESSION IN THE SPAIN-FRANCE-ITALY TRIANGLE

In the years analyzed, important mobilizations took place in the Spain-France-Italy triangle, with the presence of organizations from these countries. In addition to those linked to the “Anti-Globalization” Movement, there were major processes of struggle and strikes. Noteworthy are those that opposed American imperialism: in Italy, the numerous protests in the 1990s and 2000s against the installation of US military bases on their own soil, and the 1991 strike against the Gulf War; in Spain, a general strike in 2003 against participation in the Iraq War.

Also those that aimed to combat the effects of neoliberal austerity measures, with their effects of loss of rights, precarious work, increased living costs. In Spain, worth mentioning are: a strike in 1994 against precariousness, the Movimiento de los Indignados (15M), in 2011, which summarized the dissatisfaction of Spanish society with this socioeconomic context and contemporary forms of political representation; the mobilizations and women’s strike in 2018 (8M) put feminism and the gender issue on the agenda.

In France, it is worth pointing out mobilizations and strikes: in 1995, against pension reforms; 2006 and 2009-2010, against labor easing measures, precariousness and loss of rights — with protests with a few million people on the streets; in 2018-2019, against the increase in fuel, cost of living and austerity measures (Yellow Vests) and also against the loss of social security rights.

Anarcho-syndicalist and revolutionary syndicalist organizations participated in these episodes, and were more or less influential depending on the context. Anti-authoritarians / libertarians, countless collectives, insurrectionist individuals and groups and specific anarchist organizations also participated.

Italy:

  • Alice Poma and Tommaso Gravante, “Beyond the State and Capitalism: The Current Anarchist Movement in Italy”, Journal for the Study of Radicalism, 11 (2017). [Download]
  • Kollettivo Antimilitarista Anarchico – Pordenone, “27 Giugno 98: Giornata Nazionale contro le Basi Militari”, Umanità Nova, 23 (1998). [Read]
  • Federazione Anarchica Italiana, “Manifestazione contro la guerra e contro il militarismo” (2001). [Read]

Spain:

  • Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT), 25 Aniversario del Congreso de Unificación, 1984-2009 (2009). [Download]
  • Joselito, “Movimiento 15M”, Anarquismo, anarcosindicalismo y otros temas sobre el movimiento libertario (2018). [Download]
  • Pablo Elorduy y Héctor Rojo Letón, “Reportaje sobre el Movimiento 15-M” (2011). [Read]
  • Agência de Notícias Anarquistas (ANA), “José Luis García Rúa: ‘Acabar com o sistema é a solução'” (2011). [Read]
  • Alfredo Pascual, “Del 8M a Amazon: CNT y CGT resucitan a costa de los dinosaurios sindicales”, El Confidencial (2018). [Read]

Día de la Mujer: El 82% de los españoles cree que hay motivos para ...

France:

  • Guillaume Davranche, “Ce que Décembre 95 a changé”, Alterative Libertaire (2005). [Read]
  • Le Monde Libertaire, “Le CPE Contrat de Précarité et d’Esclavage” (2006). [Read]
  • Daniel Pinos, “Jours de Grève à la Sorbonne Nouvelle”, Le Monde Libertaire (2006). [Read]
  • Confédération Nationale du Travail – France (CNT-F), “Après le 19 mars, soyons responsables : construisons la grève reconductible!” (2009). [Read]
  • Alterative Libertaire, “Mouvement social de 2010” (2010). [Read]
  • “Recueil de Textes Anarchistes à Propos du Mouvement des Gilets Jaunes” (2019). [Download]
  • Alternative Libertaire, “Communistes libertaires et gilets jaunes” (2018). [Read]

7.2.3 ANARCHIST PROPAGANDA IN FRANCE AND ITALY AND OTHER EUROPEAN EXPERIENCES

Among the flexible organizations, it is worth highlighting the role played by the French and Italian Anarchist Federations (FAF and FAI) in the field of anarchist propaganda. Between 1990 and 2019, the FAF, articulating around a hundred federated groups, published more than a thousand editions of its newspaper Le Monde Libertaire [https://www.monde-libertaire.fr/], maintained daily radio programs (FM and online) Radio Libertaire [https://br.radio.net/s/radiolibertaire], in addition to the Publico bookstore with a public space, in Paris [https://www.librairie-publico.com/], and the publisher Les Éditions du Monde Libertaire [http://editionsmondelibertaire.org/]. During that same period, FAI published its weekly newspaper Umanità Nova [http://www.umanitanova.org/] and several books by Edizioni Zero in Condotta [https://www.zeroincondotta.org/].

Other notable experiences in Europe were: the newspaper and the anarchist federation Class War in England (1983-2011); the Bonaventure school in France, which educated children between 1993 and 2001 under the principles of libertarian pedagogy; the work of archiving and disseminating the libertarian culture of the Anselmo Lorenzo Foundation in Spain; anarchist or anarchist-influenced communities, such as Spezzano Albanese in Italy and squats in Barcelona.

  • Benjamin Franks and Ruth Kinna, “Contemporary British Anarchism: L’anarchisme britannique contemporain”, Lisa (2014). [Download]
  • Libcom (ed), “Class War newspaper”. [Read]
  • Fédération Anarchiste [Francophone] (FAF), Bonaventure, une école libertaire: Premiers pas d’une république éducative (Paris, 1995).
  • Agência de Notícias Anarquistas (ANA), “Bonaventure, uma escola libertária: entrevista com Thyde Rosel” (2002). [Read]
  • Anselmo Lorenzo Foundation Website: https://fal.cnt.es/.
  • Libertarian Socialism Wiki, “Spezzano Albanese”. [Read]
  • David Rappe e Guillaume Burnod, Spezzano A. — Documentary (2002). [View]
  • Natalia López e Carlos Garcia, “Anarquismo y Okupación” — reportagem (sem data). [View]
  • Televisión Nacional de Chile, “Documental Okupacion en Barcelona y Alrededores” (1990s). [View]

Image du Blog anarchie23.centerblog.net

7.3 EASTERN EUROPE

7.3.1 ANARCHO-SYNDICALISM IN RUSSIA AND FINAL CONFLICTS OF THE SOVIET UNION

In Russia, the anarcho-syndicalists of the Confederation of Anarcho-syndicalists (KAS), formed in 1989, played an important role in the conflicts that involved the end of the Soviet Union. They quickly reached hundreds of members, conforming themselves as the largest national organization of the non-communist left, but soon went into crisis, breaking up. From this process, the Siberian Confederation of Labour (SKT) emerged in Siberia, which in the mid-1990s reached a few thousand members and had an impact on social struggles in the region.

  • Alex Chis, “Interview: ‘Beginning of the KAS in Russia’ / ‘Russian Confederation of Anarcho-Syndicalists’”, Independent Politics, 5/6 (1994). [Read]
  • Laure Akai and Mikhail Tsovma, “Russian Anarchism: After the Fall”, Anarkismo.net (2005). [Read]
  • Andrew Flood, “The Syndicalist SKT Union in Siberia”, Anarchist Writters (2008). [Read]

7.3.2 THE 2008 RIOTS AND THE MOVEMENT AGAINST AUSTERITY (2010-2012) IN GREECE

It was in Greece that the most important achievements and episodes in this region took place. Not only in the intense period from 1989 to 1995, and in initiatives such as the 2003 Anti-Authoritarian Movement (AK) and its newspaper Babylonia, the countless squats and the tradition in Exarcheia (considered an anarchist neighborhood), but mainly for the episodes of 2008 and 2010-2012.

The murder of a young anarchist by the police in December 2008 ended up acting as a catalyst for a large-scale uprising, which for two weeks had daily demonstrations and went on for almost a month in Athens and other cities. In the 2008 Uprising, whose main political force was anarchism, shops and other properties were destroyed or set on fire. Hundreds of schools and universities were occupied and bomb attacks on banks, government buildings and several police departments took place. This revolt opened a wave of protests against the huge economic, political and social crisis, which peaked between 2010 and 2012, with immense mobilizations that also had an important participation by anarchists.

  • Nicholas Apoifis, “Fuck May 68, Fight Now!”. Athenian Anarchists & Anti-authoritarians: Militant Ethnography & Collective Identity Formation (2014). [Download]
  • A.G. Schwarz, Tasos Sagris and Void Network (eds), We Are an Image from the Future: The Greek Revolt of December 2008 (Oakland, 2010). [Download]
  • Antonis Vradis and Dimitris Dalakoglou, Revolt and Crisis in Greece: Between a Present Yet to Pass and a Future Still to Come (Oakland, 2011). [Download]
  • Kostis Kornetis, “No More Heroes? Rejection and Reverberation of the Past in the 2008 Events in Greece”, Journal of Modern Greek Studies, 28 (2010). [Download]
  • Rosa Vasilaki, “‘We Are an Image From the Future’: Reading back the Athens 2008 Riots”, Acta Scientiarum, Education, 39 (2017). [Download]
  • Acácio Augusto, Política e Antipolítica: anarquia contemporânea, revolta e cultura libertária (2013). [Read]
  • Wikipedia, “Anti-Austerity Movement in Greece”. [Read]
  • Alex King and Ioanna Manoussaki-Adamopoulou, “Inside Exarcheia: the self-governing community Athens police want rid of”, The Guardian (2019). [Read]

2008 Greek riots - Photos - The Big Picture - Boston.com

 

7.4 NORTH AMERICA

7.4.1 “SOLIDARITY UNIONISM” AND ANARCHIST PROPAGANDA IN UNITED STATES AND CANADA

When we move to North America, we have the outstanding case of the United States, a country that in the years in question had some broader organizational experiences. Organizations such as Love and Rage (also present in Mexico, “Amor y Rabia”), Workers’ Solidarity Alliance (WSA), North Eastern Federation of Anarchist Communists (NEFAC, also present in Canada), Black Rose Anarchist Federation (BRAF ), and hundreds of Food Not Bombs collectives with an anarchist presence.

  • Roy San Filippo (ed) A New World in Our Hearts: Eight Years of Writtings from the Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation (Oakland, 2003). [Download]
  • Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation (LRRAF), “Member Handbook” (1997). [Download]
  • Workers Solidarity Alliance Website: https://workersolidarity.org/.
  • Anonymous, “The History of NEFAC in Quebec City, 2001-2008” (2009). [Read]
  • Penny Howard and Josh Brown, “Interview with Roundhouse Collective of NEFAC”, Left Turn (2002). [Read]
  • Black Rose Anarchist Federation (BRAF) Website: https://blackrosefed.org/.
  • Chris Crass, “Towards a Non-Violent Society: a position paper on anarchism, social change and Food Not Bombs”, The Anarchist Library (1995). [Read]

 

A very interesting case was that of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), which was dedicated to organizing sectors of workers with little interest from the major union actors in the country. With a few thousand members in the country, and insertion in several places of work, especially in the sectors of commerce and services (recycling, social assistance, technology, food etc.) and some broader sectors (education and construction, for example), the IWW has been promoting what it calls “solidarity unionism”. This is characterized by the construction, by the workers, of a vibrant and permanently active union; in the midst of campaigns and demands and direct negotiations with bosses, often in small stores, they usually seek formal representation, through elections conducted by the governmental agency National Labor Relations Board (NLRC). Probably the most interesting experiences of the period are in restaurants and fast food stores.

  • Fred Thompson and Jon Bekken, The Industrial Workers of the World: It’s First 100 Years (Cincinnati: 2006)
  • Erik Forman, “Revolt in Fast Food Nation: The Wobblies Take on Jimmy John’s”, Immanuel Ness (ed), New Forms of Worker Organization: The syndicalist and autonomist restoration of class-struggle unionism (Oakland, 2014). [Download]

 

In the field of propaganda, the initiative that seems to have stood out the most in these years was that of the collective CrimethInc, which is over 20 years old and has spread to other countries. It defines itself as a think tank that produces inciting ideas and actions, which poses fatal issues for today’s dominations. It has a very complete work in the production of books, newspapers, posters, videos, podcasts and presence on social networks — with a lot of material that can be reproduced by other people. [https://crimethinc.com/] In addition to this initiative are publishers AK Press [https://www.akpress.org/] and PM Press [https://www.pmpress.org/] which, in the period in question, published hundreds of books, as well as the magazines Fifth Estate [https://www.fifthestate.org/] — which, in the three decades analyzed, published 62 issues — and Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed [https://anarchymag.org/].

CrimethInc. : Posters : Beauty Subversion

 

In the academic field, we highlight the Institute for Anarchist Studies (IAS), founded in 1996, which publishes the journal Perspectives on Anarchist Theory and, since its inception, has financed more than 100 researchers from various parts of the world. [https://anarchiststudies.org/] In the technological field, the collective Riseup, with anarchist participation, has offered secure tools for data storage and communication among militants. [https://riseup.net/pl/about-us]

About North America and Canada in general, some references can be mentioned:

  • David Graeber, “The Rebirth of Anarchism in North America (1957-2007)”, HAOL, 21 (2010). [Download]
  • CrimethInc., “Scene Report: Anarchism in Canada” (2012). [Download]
  • Émilie Breton, Sandra Jeppesen, Anna Kruzynski and Rachel Sarrasin, “Les féminismes au coeur de l’anarchisme contemporain au Québec: des pratiques intersectionnelles sur le terrain”, Intersectionnalités, 28 (2015). [Download]
  • Francis Dupuis-Déri, “Pistes pour une histoire de l’anarchisme au Québec”, Bulletin d’histoire politique, 16 (2008). [Download]

 

7.4.2 OCTOBER REBELLION (2007) AND OCCUPY WALL STREET (2011) IN UNITED STATES

However, it should be noted that the anarchist presence in the USA is quite significant, and is largely outside these organizations. It showed itself very evidently in struggles that, to some extent, continued the “anti-globalization” movement, such as the October Rebellion in 2007, against the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

 

And also in the so-called Occupy Wall Street, of 2011, which, influenced by European mobilizations, concentrated in New York — where hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people protested in proposed marches and a group remained camped in Zuccotti Park — and spread out across the country, and even to others. Under the slogan “We are the 99%”, the movement directly questioned social inequality, the deregulation of the financial world and the control of capitalist multinationals. Anarchism was the movement’s greatest ideological inspiration, as nearly 39% of the movement’s organizers defined themselves as anarchists and another 33% had essentially anarchist political views, even though they did not call themselves such, which means that 72% of the organizers had explicitly anarchist or libertarian positions.

 

  • Mark Bray, Translating Anarchy: The Anarchism of Occupy Wall Street (Winchester/Washington, 2013). [Download]
  • David Bates, Matthew Ogilvie and Emma Pole, “Occupy: In Theory and Practice”, Critical Discourse Studies (2016). [Download]
  • David Graeber, “Occupy’s Anarchist Roots”, Al Jazeera (2011). [Download]
  • John L. Hammond, “The Anarchism of Occupy Wall Street”, Science & Society, 79 (2015). [Download]
  • Agência de Notícias Anarquistas (ANA), “Erica Lagalisse: Participação e influências anarquistas no Movimento ‘Occupy Wall Street'” (2011). [Read]
Occupy Wall Street comemora um ano - Notícias - Notícias - Band.com.br

 

7.5 LATIN AMERICA

7.5.1 ESPECIFISMO AND ITS DEVELOPMENTS IN URUGUAY, BRAZIL AND ARGENTINA

When discussing Latin America, a case of great prominence is so-called especifismo, promoted by the Uruguayan Anarchist Federation (FAU). In the years in question, the FAU, which has its own headquarters and publisher, developed important works in the fields: union (publication, education, teachers, taxi drivers, transport, post office, railways and others), community (among which stand out experiences of the community centers, such as the historic Ateneu del Cerro, which, in addition to fostering organization and territorial struggles, had community radio activities), student activities (participating in significant struggles, such as school occupations in 1992 and 1996).

  • Anarchism and the Platformist Tradition, “Especifismo Anarquista”. [Read]
  • Adam Weaver, “Especifismo: The Anarchist Praxis of Building Popular Movements and Revolutionary Organization in South America”, Anarchism and the Platformist Tradition (2010). [Read]
  • Uruguayan Anarchist Federation Website (FAU): http://federacionanarquistauruguaya.uy/.
    • FAU publications with part of its contemporary history: Lucha Libertaria [Read] e Solidaridad: Periódico Obrero Popular [Read].

 

Since the 1990s, the FAU has exercized considerable influence in almost all South American countries, with an emphasis on Brazil and Argentina. In the political field, during this period, it stimulated the emergence of different anarchist organizations and their articulation in a Latin American Anarchist Coordination (CALA). In Brazil is where the fruits of this work developed the most: the foundation of the Gaucha Anarchist Federation (FAG), in 1995 — which, during the first half of the 2000s, played a relevant role in the National Movement of Waste Pickers (MNCR), an initiative that, at the time, organized hundreds of cooperatives and tens of thousands of collectors –, and the Brazilian Anarchist Coordination (CAB), in 2012, are central milestones. An even less significant dissidence of especificismo was formed: the Popular Anarchist Union (UNIPA). Argentina was also central to this process, through expressions such as Libertarian Socialist Organization (OSL), AUCA and Rosario Anarchist Federation (FAR). Other South American countries were also influenced, including: Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela.

Brazil

  • Organização Anarquista Socialismo Libertário (OASL) e Federação Anarquista do Rio de Janeiro (FARJ) / Coordenação Anarquista Brasileira (CAB), “Elementos Para uma Reconstituição Histórica de Nossa Corrente”, Anarkismo.net (2012). [Read]
  • Federación Anarquista Uruguaya (FAU), “Reportaje a un militante de la Federación Anarquista Gaúcha (FAG)”, Lucha Libertaria (2004). [Read]
  • Brazilian Anarchist Coordination (CAB) Website: http://cabanarquista.org/.

Argentina

  • En la Calle. En la Calle: una lectura anarquista de la crisis neoliberal en Argentina (1997-2007). Buenos Aires: Madreselva, 2012.
  • Organización Socialista Libertaria (OSL), “Proyecto OSL Argentina – Nueva Casa Para los y las Libertarias en Argentina”, A-Infos (2005). [Read]
  • AUCA, “Que es AUCA, nuestra práctica y documientos”. [Read]
  • Rosario Anarchist Federation (FAR) Website: http://federacionanarquistaderosario.blogspot.com/.

CALA

  • Coordenação Anarquista Latino-Americana, “Comunicado de relançamento da CALA” (2020). [Read]

 

In the social field, especifistas from different countries contributed directly, from 2003, with the construction of the Latin American Encounter of Popular Autonomous Organizations (ELAOPA). As a counterpoint to the emergence of progressive governments in Latin America and the World Social Forum, ELAOPA articulated, in 13 gatherings that took place in different countries, a combative and independent camp of social and union movements.

  • Combate Audiovisual, “Documentário VI ELAOPA” (2008). [View: Part I, Part II, Part III]
  • Combate Audiovisual, “Documentário VII ELAOPA” (2013). [View]
  • Federación Anarquista Uruguaya (FAU), “I Encuentro Latinoamericano de Organizaciones Populares Autónomas”, Lucha Libertaria (2003). [Read]
RESISTÊNCIA POPULAR: O IX ELAOPA E AS LUTAS POPULARES

7.5.2 ARGENTINAZZO (2001) AND PIQUETEROS IN ARGENTINA, PENGUINS REVOLUTION (2006), DEVELOPMENTS (2011-2012) AND 2019 MOBILIZATIONS IN CHILE

Anarchists from this and other currents played a prominent role in some central episodes of popular Latin American struggles. At the end of 2001, they participated in the Argentinazo, a series of massive protests in Argentina that demonstrated popular dissatisfaction in the face of the huge recession that had been raging in the country since 1998, and the attempt to establish a state of emergency in the country, when conflicts intensified. Under the motto “Que se vayan todos!” [Out with all of them!], the movement took tens of thousands of people to the streets (39 were killed by the repression) and established popular assemblies in the neighborhoods, overthrew the president of the republic and highlighted the institutional and representation crisis that was slaughtering the country. The anarchist newspaper En la Calle covered the process and exerted some influence on it.

In this uprising, the piqueteros — unemployed workers movement that grew stronger in the second half of the 1990s, in many cases assuming quite libertarian forms — were prominent players. At that time, and in the years to come, a group of anarchist militants played a central role in the formation and development of some of these movements. Both organized militants, as in the cases of AUCA and the Libertarian Socialist Organization (OSL), and also others with no specific organization. Among the most important, all in the greater Buenos Aires region with several hundred or a few thousand members, are: the MTD (Movement of Unemployed Workers) Oscar Barrios; the MTD 1º de Maio and the Popular Unity Movement (MUP).

The 2001 uprising also motivated the rearticulation of the Argentine Regional Workers’ Federation (FORA). As of 2006, anarchists also had a prominent influence in the Federation of Grassroots Organizations (FOB) — several of these militants later joined the Argentine Anarcho-Communist Federation (FACA).

  • En la Calle. En la Calle: una lectura anarquista de la crisis neoliberal en Argentina (1997-2007). Buenos Aires: Madreselva, 2012.
  • José Antonio Gutiérrez Danton, “Voces Anarco-Comunistas del Argentinazo” (5 partes), Anarkismo.net (2011-2012). [Download]
  • Natalia Diaz, Anarquismo en el Movimiento Piquetero (Neuquén: 2019). [Download]
  • Federación Anarquista de Rosário (FAR) (ed), “Impulso de Nucleos Anarquistas en los Movimientos de Trabajadores Desocupados en Argentina (años 90-actualidad) (2012). [Read]
  • Federación Obrera Regional Argentina (FORA), Consejo Federal, “Historia Reciente y Actualidad Sindical de la FORA Argentina”, CNT, 423 (2020). [Read]

 

In Chile, the student movement stood out on two occasions in the fight against the effects of privatization, which started during the Pinochet dictatorship, and disputed the country’s education project with the Bachelet government. In 2006, in the so-called “Penguins (School Students) Revolution”, students put hundreds of thousands (perhaps 1 million) on the streets and occupied 400 schools. Under pressure, the government promised answers, but these proved to be harmless, so that, in 2011, the movement resurfaced, involving all sectors of Chilean education and worker support. 600 schools were occupied and demonstrations once again took hundreds of thousands to the streets of the country. The movement continued in 2012 and had further developments. In some way, all anarchist currents participated in this process, but they achieved a relevant influence through the Libertarian Students Front (FEL) — which, during this process and later, saw its influence translate into the election for important posts in the Chilean student movement.

All currents also participated in the huge and radicalized mobilization that began in October 2019 and was interrupted in 2020 by the Covid-19 pandemic. This movement, although initiated in a struggle against the increase in transport, embodied popular dissatisfaction with numerous effects of neoliberalism, all related to the precariousness of life. Not only did it take more than a million people to the streets, but it adopted combative tactics of democratic violence, the antecedent of which is the 2018 Feminist General Strike, taking the struggle to another level. State repression and terror were enormous.

O Chile acordou': autora da foto viral que marcou protestos conta ...
  • Beatriz S. Pinochet, “La ‘Revolución Pingüina’ y el Cambio Cultural en Chile”, CLACSO (2007). [Download]
  • Dagmar M. L. Zibas, “A ‘Revolta dos Pinguins’ e o novo pacto educacional chileno”, Revista Brasileira de Educação, 13 (2008). [Download]
  • Scott Nappalos, “Entrevista con Felipe Ramírez, del FEL de Chile”, Anarkismo.net (2012). [Read]
  • Bree Busk, “The Popular Assemblies at the Heart of the Chilean Uprising”, ROAR Magazine (2019). [Read]
  • Pablo Abufom, “Los Seis Meses que Transformaron Chile”, Anarkismo.net (2020). [Read]
  • Anarkismo.net (ed), “Chile: El Oasis del Caos (y otros textos)” (2019). [Read]

 

7.5.3 OAXACA COMMUNE (2006) IN MEXICO AND JUNE PROTESTS (2013) IN BRAZIL

In Mexico, still in 2006, the Commune of Oaxaca was formed, a huge mobilization that, for five months, occupied the city, having as a main organizing instrument the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO). Unleashed by teachers’ wage demands, the movement grew enormously, with the solidarity of countless popular sectors, after government repression. It came to control part of the city, permanently occupying its central square and demanding the resignation of the governor. It promoted large demonstrations, with hundreds of thousands of people and, in at least one case, a million; it erected barricades and fought the forces of order in the streets; blocked roads, set fire to government buildings, occupied 13 radios – broadcasting their own programming; it created the Oaxaca Women’s Coordination (COMO) to work on their specific demands. It was severely repressed, ending with 20 dead and hundreds arrested and wounded. Anarchists were present throughout the process, both in APPO and outside. They had considerable influence, through initiatives such as the Popular Indigenous Council of Oaxaca — Ricardo Flores Magón (CIPO-RFM), the Magonista Zapatista Alliance (AMZ) and the La Okupa space. In that country, anarchist participation in the Authentic Front of Work (FAT) in the 1990s, the most recent conformation of the Anarchist Federation of Mexico (FAM), and the oldest social library, Reconstruir,  also stood out in the period.

  • Marco Estrada Saavedra, “La Anarquía Organizada: las barricadas como el subsistema de seguridad de la Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca”, Estudios Sociológicos, 28 (2010). [Download]
  • Sérgio Sánchez, “Anarquía y Corrientes Libertarias en el Movimiento Insurreccional Oaxaqueño”, Rojo y Negro (2007). [Read]
  • Gilson Dantas. México Rebelde: Oaxaca, uma comuna do século XXI (São Paulo / Brasília, 2009).

 

In Mexico, anarchist participation in the construction of “Jornadas Magonistas” was also important, in different parts of the country in 1994, 1999, and practically every year after 2000. Among several other actors, the Magonist Autonomous Collective (CAMA) was part of this construction.

  • “Ciudad de México: Jornadas Magonistas en octubre”, A-Infos (2004). [Read]
  • “Jornada de Difusión del Pensamiento Magonista” (2014). [Read]
  • Thierry Libertad, “Entrevista com o “Centro Social Libertario — Ricardo Flores Magón [e Colectivo Autónomo Magonista]”, Divergences (2008). [Read]

 

In Brazil, anarchists also played an important role in the so-called “Jornadas de Junho”, in 2013, a movement started by the fight against the price increase in public transport, victorious in several regions, but which ended up expanding their agendas. Continuing in different locations for practically a year, this widespread revolt, reinforced by savage strikes and mobilizations by women and LGBTs demanding sexual freedom, harshly criticized spending on the World Cup, media oligopolies, multinationals, police violence and others atrocities. It put the country’s political representation in check, and demanded the improvement of public services such as health and education. The movement, which took over one million to the streets across the country, and which received massive support from the population, had an important participation from all anarchist currents, which were present at the Block of Struggles in Porto Alegre, in the Free Pass Movement (MPL) in different locations, as well as in the Black Blocs and many other initiatives.

  • Wallace de Moraes, 2013: Revolta dos Governados ou, para quem esteve presente, Revolta do Vinagre (Rio de Janeiro, 2018).
  • Pablo Ortellado et alli. Vinte Centavos: a luta contra o aumento (São Paulo, 2013). [Read a review]
  • Federação Anarquista Gaúcha (FAG), Pela Força das Ruas: seleção das cartas de opinião da FAG/CAB durante as jornadas de luta de 2013. (Porto Alegre, 2014).
  • Wallace dos Santos de Moraes, Camila Rodrigues Jourdan e Andrey Cordeiro Ferreira, “A Insurreição Invisível: uma interpretação anti-governista da rebelião de 2013/14 no Brasil”, OTAL (2015). [Read]
  • Federación Anarquista de Rosário (FAR) (ed), “Movimento Passe Livre y Movilizaciones Populares en Brasil” (2013). [Read]

 

 

7.6 SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

7.6.1 SYNDICALISM IN NIGERIA AND SIERRA LEONE

In Sub-Saharan Africa, three achievements stand out. Two of them linked to the camp of anarcho-syndicalism and revolutionary syndicalism. In Nigeria, the Awareness League (AL), which had started as a study group in the mid-1980s, from 1990 to 1991 became an anarcho-syndicalist organization. It came to have 1,000 members with a presence in 15 states in the south of the country, and made anti-militarism at the heart of its struggle. It was a member of the IWA-AIT from 1996 onwards and ended in 1999, with the end of the military regime. In Sierra Leone, between 1988 and the early 1990s, an IWW section was formed. This first experience of revolutionary unionism in the country — which, in 1997, even in the midst of the civil war, added more than 3,000 diamond miners — was destroyed with the military coup that year, and, under repression, its leaders had to go into exile in Guinea.

  • Sam Mbah e I.E. Igariwey, African Anarchism: an exploration of the theory and practice of anarchism on the African continent (Tucson, 1997). [Download]
  • Sam Mbah, “Interview”, Libcom (2012). [Read]
  • Industrial Workers of the World – Sierra Leone, “Letters” (1997). [Read]

 

7.6.2 PLATFORMISM IN SOUTH AFRICA AND ITS SURROUNDINGS

The third belongs to the camp of platformism, carried out in South Africa and other countries. This tradition goes back to the oldest Workers’ Solidarity Federation (WSF, 1995-1999) and to a set of subsequent groups that, in 2003/2007, will found the ZACF. Forming up in the rise of the struggles that defeated apartheid and combating the emergent nationalism, increasingly integrated into neoliberal policies, these platformists, at various times with a majority of black members in their organizations, were based in South Africa, but managed to expand to other regions (Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe). With a presence in student work (at Witwatersrand University, participating in the protests of 1993, 1995, 2001), trade unions (in COSATU, participating in strikes in 1996 and 2008) and in different peripheral communities, these anarchists were also part of the Workers Library, since 1998, and the Anti-Privatization Forum, since its founding in 2000. They built an Anarchist Political School, a popular education project rooted in poor and majority black neighborhoods. Despite being modest in numbers, they stood out for their permanence and the influence they exercised in the theoretical field.

  • Southern African Anarchist & Syndicalist History Archive (SAASHA) Website: https://saasha.net/.
  • SAACHA, “Some Notes on the Chronology and History of ARM and WSF, 1993-1997”. (2017). [Read]
  • Leroy Maisiri, Phillip Nyalungu and Lucien van der Walt, “Anarchist/Syndicalist and Independent Marxist Intersections in Post-Apartheid Struggles, South Africa: the WSF/ZACF current in Gauteng, 1990s–2010s”, Globalizations (2020). [Download]
  • Dale McKinley, “Interview with Lucien van der Walt on the Anti Privatisation Fórum”, SAHA (2010) [Download]
  • Phillip Nyalungu, “Experiences of an Activist and ZACF Anarchist-Communist in Soweto, South Africa, 2002-2012”, Anarchist Studies, 27 (2019). [Read]
Freedom for All? Members of Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front ...

 

7.7 NORTH AFRICA

 

7.7.1 ARAB SPRING AND IMPACTS IN TUNISIA AND EGYPT

In North Africa, the Arab Spring, which in its different manifestations expressed a libertarian methodology of action, stimulated a resumption of anarchism in the region, which was marked by feminist positions. Egypt stands out, where the Libertarian Socialist Movement was founded in 2011, and where, in 2013, black blocs were already present in protests in Cairo; and Tunisia, whose Common Libertarian group, in 2015, hosted a meeting of Mediterranean anarchists, articulated with the Francophone Anarchist Federation (FAF) and the International Anarchist Federation (IFA).

  • Laura Galián, “Squares, Occupy Movements and Arab Revolutions”, Carl Levy and Matthew Adams (eds), The Palgrave Handbook of Anarchism (London, 2019). [Download]
  • Yeghig Tashjian, “The Fruits of ‘Arab Spring’; Islamism, Anarchism & Feminism”, Strategic Outlook (2013). [Download]
  • North Eastern Federation of Anarchist Communists (NEFAC), “Egypt Unrest: Interview with an Egyptian anarchist”, Libcom (2011). [Read]
  • Mohammed Bamyeh, “Anarchist Method, Liberal Intention, Authoritarian Lesson: The Arab Spring between three enlightenments”, Barry Maxwell and Raymond Craib (eds), No Gods, No Masters, No Peripheries: global anarchisms (Oakland, 2015). [Download]
  • Le Commun Libertaire, Internationale des Fédérations Anarchistes (IFA), Fédération Anarchiste [Francophone] (FAF), “Tunisie, Appel à une Première Rencontre Anarchiste Méditerranéenne! Mars 2015” (2014). [Read]

 

 

7.8 MIDDLE EAST 

 

7.8.1 ROJAVA REVOLUTION (FROM 2012 ON) IN NORTHERN SYRIA

But it was in the Middle East that the Arab Spring bore its most promising fruits. In a context of national oppression and damaging effects of neoliberalism, the Kurdish people started, in 2012, in northern Syria, what has been called the Rojava Revolution. As a result of a long previous organization — in which the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) had a prominent role –, this revolution was established at the moment when the civil war broke out, and that region, refusing to support the government and the opposition, declared its autonomy. Thanks to an ideological turn of the PKK, which took place between 1995 and 2005, greatly influenced by its leader Abdullah Öcallan, the revolutionary process was directed towards democratic confederalism.

Against capitalism, the state and patriarchy, this revolution has been trying to establish an ecological and multi-ethnic society, with a self-managed economy, grassroots democracy (without a state, based on communes and councils), and the liberation of women. In addition, there are libertarian solutions to issues such as health, education, conflict resolution and defense. It is undoubtedly the largest anti-authoritarian revolutionary movement of the period in question, and the influence of anarchism — minority, but existing — can be understood from the influence that the works of anarchist Murray Bookchin had on Abdulla Öcallan, as well as in the presence of anarchist groupings in the region, as in the case of the International and Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces (IRPGF), which operated between 2017 and 2018, and had an LGBT unit, the Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army (TQILA).

  • Editorial Descontrol (ed), La Revolución Ignorada: liberación de la mujer, democracia directa, y pluralismo radical en Oriente Medio (Barcelona, 2016).
  • CrimethInc, “’The Struggle Is not for Martyrdom but for Life’: A Critical Discussion about Armed Struggle with Anarchist Guerrillas in Rojava” (2017). [Read]
  • Clare Maxwell, “Anarchy in the YPG: Foreign volunteers vow Turkish ‘revolution’”, Middle East Eye (2017). [Read]
  • Kurdish Question, “Interview with the International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces”, The Anarchist Library (2017). [Download]
  • Anonymous, “Not One Step Back: TQILA-IRPGF Speaks From Rojava”, It’s Going Down (2017). [Read]
Anarchists in Rojava announce IRPGF - video dailymotion

 

7.8.2 OTHER INITIATIVES IN ISRAEL, PALESTINE, TURKEY, LEBANON, AFGHANISTAN AND IRAN

Still in the Middle East, some initiatives stand out, also from this new millennium. In Israel, between 2003 and 2008, Anarchists Against the Wall (AAW) performed in hundreds of demonstrations in favor of the Palestinian cause and opposed the 2006 Lebanon and Gaza wars in 2008. In Turkey, since the beginning of the 2000s, anarchism has been greatly strengthened. Among other achievements, mention should be made of the founding of Revolutionary Anarchist Action (DAF), in 2007 — federating five collectives and encompassing, in addition to class guidelines and solidarity with the Kurds of Rojava, the fight against patriarchy, gender-based violence and the destruction of the environment — as well as some contribution to the 2013 Turkish Uprising. Finally, Lebanon’s initiatives — such as the Libertarian Communist Alternative, linked to the French Alternative Libertaire, and the new Kafeh movement — and the recent appearance of the Anarchist Union of Iran and Afghanistan (AUIF).

  • Uri Gordon and Ohal Grietzer (eds), Anarchists Against the Wall: direct action and solidarity with the Palestinian popular struggle (Oakland, 2013). [Download]
  • Corporate Watch, “Building Autonomy in Turkey and Kurdistan: an interview with Revolucionary Anarchist Action”, Corporate Watch (2015). [Read]
  • CrimethInc, “Turkish Anarchists on the Fight for Kobanê” (2015). [Read]
  • “Anarchism in Turkey”, Libcom (2004). [Read]
  • Bruno L. Rocha, “An Interview to a DAF Militant About the Solidarity for Rojava Social Process”, Anarkismo.net (2015). [Read]
  • Robert Graham, “Lessons From the Turkish Uprising” (2013). [Read]
  • Enough is Enough 14, “Interview with #Kafeh, Anarchist Movement in Lebanon” (2020). [Read]
  • A Las Barricadas, “Interview with the Anarchist Union of Afghanistan & Iran”, Enough is Enough 14 (2018). [Read]
Category: Anarchists Against The Wall

 

 

7.9 OCEANIA 

7.9.1 TRAM DISPUTE (1990) IN AUSTRALIA AND THE INFLUENCE IN SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST ASIA

In Oceania, there were striking episodes with anarchist participation, such as the Tram Dispute, in 1990, in Australia (Melbourne). At that time, the railway workers occupied stations and took control of operations, circulating without charging passengers, in a protest against the government, which wanted to extinguish the role of drivers. The Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation (ASF), despite its numerical limitations, had an important impact on this conflict and also on the debate on public transport in the region. The work of the IWA-AIT was also very relevant, which, through the Australian ASF, decided, from 2013 onwards, to support the strengthening of anarcho-syndicalism in South and Southeast Asia. Such experiences are discussed a little later.

  • Dick Curlewis, Anarcho-Syndicalism in Practice: Melbourne Tram Dispute & Lockout (Sydney, 1997). [Read]

Other interesting experiences on this continent are the Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group, from Australia [https://melbacg.wordpress.com/], and the Aotearoa Workers’ Solidarity Movement, from New Zealand [https://awsm.nz/].

 

 

7.10 SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST ASIA

 

7.10.1 SYNDICALISM IN BANGLADESH AND INDONESIA AND OTHER ASIAN EXPERIENCES

In this region, although anarchism emerged in a dispersed way between the 1980s and 2000s, it was in the decade of 2010 that two outstanding cases were consolidated, both linked to the IWA-AIT. In Bangladesh, an anarcho-syndicalist current emerged from a critique of Marxism, founding the Bangladesh Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation (BASF) which, in 2014, had 60 federated groups and 1500 members; of these, almost half were women, several of whom are members of the Bangladesh Anarcho-Syndicalist Women’s Union (BAWU). In Indonesia, there were also important fruits, such as the Regional Workers’ Fraternity (PPR), a network of nuclei in seven regions of the country, and the most recent Anarcho-Syndical Workers’ Fraternity (PPAS). Other, less expressive initiatives have also been developed in the region, in countries such as India, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and East Timor.

Finally, in the Far East, there is a case highlighted in Japan, which is the formation, in 2004, of Freeter Zenpan Roso, a revolutionary unionist influence group that has been organizing precarious workers in the country.

  • Bangladesh Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation (BASF), “Question & Answers with BASF” (2018). [Read]
  • Vadim Damier and Kirill Limanov, “Anarchism in Indonesia”, The Anarchist Library (2017). [Read]
  • Vadim Damier and Kirill Limanov, “History of Anarchism in Malaya / Singapore / Malaysia”, The Anarchist Library (2017). [Read]
  • John Crump, “The Anarchist Movement in Japan, 1906–1996”, The Anarchist Library (1996). [Download]
  • Sabu Kohso, “Freeter Zenpan Roso – Prekäre in Japan”, Direkte Aktion (2008). [Read]

8. HISTORY AND THEORY: CLASS, ECOLOGY, RACE/ETHNICITY, NATIONALITY, GENDER AND SEXUALITY

8.1 RECOVERY ON HISTORIOGRAPHY AND ACADEMIC PRESENCE AT UNIVERSITIES

In all regions of the globe there has been a keen interest in recovering the history of anarchism, anarcho-syndicalism and revolutionary syndicalism, as well as in translating old and recent writings, and discussing numerous theoretical issues. On this topic in general, some texts can be mentioned.

  • Randall Amster, Abraham DeLeon, Luis A. Fernandez, Anthony J. Nocella, II, and Deric Shannon (eds), Contemporary Anarchist Studies An introductory anthology of anarchy in the academy (London / New York, 2009). [Download]
  • Nildo Avelino, “Apresentação: Acerca dos Estudos Anarquistas Contemporâneos”, Política e Trabalho, 36 (2012). [Download]

 

8.2 DATABASES, RESEARCH INSTITUTES AND NETWORKS, JOURNALS, ACADEMIC GROUPS AND CONFERENCES

Certain initiatives have been very important. Physical databases, such as the Kate Sharpley Library, England [https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/]; the International Centre for Anarchist Research (CIRA), Switzerland [https://www.cira.ch/home]; the International Institute of Social History (IIHS), the Netherlands [https://iisg.amsterdam/en]; and virtual databases, such as the internet portals Libcom [https://libcom.org/], The Anarchist Library [https://theanarchistlibrary.org/special/index] and Zabalaza Books [https://zabalazabooks.net/]. Research institutes and networks, magazines and journals, academic groups and conferences. Examples of initiatives in this field are the Anarchist Studies Network (ASN) [https://anarchiststudiesnetwork.org/], its international conferences, as well as the journal Anarchist Studies [https://anarchiststudies.org/].

Physical and virtual propaganda and dissemination instruments. Examples are: Anarchist Fairs (Bay Area, in the United States [https://bayareaanarchistbookfair.com/];  São Paulo, in Brazil [https://feiranarquistasp.wordpress.com/historico/]; Hong Kong [https: //www.fifthestate.org/archive/400-spring-2018/hong-kongs-black-book-fair/] etc.); book publishers such as Jura Books (Australia) [https://jura.org.au/], Freedom Press (England) [https://freedompress.org.uk/] and Anarres (Argentina) [http: / /www.librosdeanarres.com.ar/]; magazines, Rivista Anarchica (Italy) [http://www.arivista.org/] and Ekintza Zuzena (Spain) [https://www.nodo50.org/ekintza/]; newspapers like El Libertario (Venezuela) [https://www.nodo50.org/ellibertario/]; online news services, such as A-Infos [http://www.ainfos.ca/].

Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair

Theoretical productions around themes such as social classes, ecology, race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, nationality have been developed, many of which have been based on the resumption of classic anarchist contributions. In this broad movement, we have sought to resume aspects that, to a large extent, were neglected, be it anarchism itself and the revolutionary forms of unionism, the colonial and post-colonial world, or even the oppressed classes, blacks, indigenous people, women and LGBTs.

The following is a list of some interesting examples of studies in these fields, which, however, are far from representing the complete production of this period. But they serve to illustrate a little of what has been done.

 

8.3 THEORETICAL PRODUCTIONS: SOCIAL CLASSES

Different productions have developed a concept of social classes deeply linked to a conception of power, which goes beyond the economic sphere, relating the ownership of the means of production (and the exploitation of labor) with the ownership of the means of administration, control and coercion (and political-bureaucratic domination and physical coercion), and with ownership of the means of production and diffusion of knowledge (and cultural-ideological domination). They explain, thus, not only the phenomenon of power itself, but the relationship that exists between the different forms of domination within the social classes that are formed in the capitalist and statist system.

  • Alfredo Errandonea, Sociologia de la Dominación, (Montevideu/Buenos Aires, 1989).
  • Coordenação Anarquista Brasileira (CAB), “Nossa Concepção de Poder Popular”, Socialismo Libertário, 1 (2012). [Read]
  • Coordenação Anarquista Brasileira (CAB). “Capitalismo, Estado, Luta de Classes e Violência”, Socialismo Libertário, 4 (2020). [Read]
Le Monde Libertaire

 

8.4 THEORETICAL PRODUCTIONS: ECOLOGY

Others have been working on themes related to ecology, differentiating themselves from capitalist environmentalism, offering critical explanations to the planetary environmental crisis, and pointing out possible ways out. In the case of deep ecology, anthropocentrism is broken with and it is understood that all animals and plants have the right to coexist with humanity, in a form of practically untouched nature. In the case of social ecology, it is understood that most ecological problems have their roots in society, and that the environmental crisis will not be solved without a major transformation of contemporary capitalism and the establishment of ethical limits for human intervention in the environment. In both cases, the notion of human struggle against the environment is broken with and the human being is understood as part of nature.

  • Murray Bookchin et al., Deep Ecology and Anarchism: a polemic (London, 1997). [Download]
  • Murray Bookchin, “What is Social Ecology”, The Anarchist Library (1993). [Download]
  • Graham Purchase, Anarchism and Environmental Survival (Edmonton, 2011). [Read]
  • Graham Purchase, Anarchism and Ecology (Petersham, 1993). [Read]
Anarchy and Ecology | Robert Graham's Anarchism Weblog

 

8.5 THEORETICAL PRODUCTIONS: RACE/ETHNICITY AND NATIONALITY

Different authors have worked with issues related to race, ethnicity and nationality. Some have even maintained the notion of “black anarchism” and others have considered an “anarcho-indigenous alliance” to be fundamental. Others have been proposing ways to decolonize anarchism. In addition to rescuing anarchist/syndicalist contributions in this field, others have pointed out how racism is linked to the emergence of capitalism and the modern state and has historically been used to split the working class. And that imperialism must be understood as the work of the ruling classes of the oppressing country over all classes of the oppressed country. In this way, they understand that the fight against racism, imperialism and neocolonialism must take place on class, anti-statist and anti-capitalist bases, that is, contrary to nationalism.

  • Black Rose Anarchist Federation, Black Anarchism: A Reader. [Download]
  • Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin, “Anarchism and Black Revolution”, The Anarchist Library (1993). [Download]
  • Alas de Xue, “Aliança Anarco-Indígena: contra o poder e o capital, fortalecer a aliança anarco-indígena”, Protesta!, 3 (2006). [Download]
  • Maia Ramnath. Decolonizing Anarchism (Oakland, 2011). [Baixar]
  • Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF), “Fighting and Defeating Racism” (2010). [Read]
  • Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF), “Anti-Imperialism and National Liberation” (2010). [Read]
The Black Anarchism Reader

 

8.6 THEORETICAL PRODUCTIONS: GENDER AND SEXUALITY

Others, especially women and LGBT people, have worked on gender and sexuality, in a critical dialogue with existing intellectual productions (intersectional, classist, radical feminism, queer theory, etc.). They establish not only a critique of the anarchist/syndicalist camp itself — which, despite their conception contrary to all forms of domination, were often unable to overcome oppressive practices in their own structures — but also transformative projects with a centrality on gender and sexuality issues. They have sought to explain the relationship between such issues and the capitalist and statist system, in addition to their relationship with classes and identities.

  • Dark Star (ed), Quiet Rumors: an Anarcha-Feminist Reader (Oakland, 2002). [Download]
  • Ruth Kinna, “Anarchism and Feminism”, Nathan Jun (ed), Brill’s Companion to Anarchism and Philosophy (Leiden/Boston, 2018). [Download]
  • C.B. Darring et al., Queering Anarchism: addressing and undressing power and desire (Oakland, 2012). [Download]
Chile] Santiago: 1º Encontro anarcofeminista | 28 setembro

 

8.7 PRACTICES LINKED TO THESE THEORETICAL ISSUES

Alongside these theoretical discussions, there have been, in many countries, numerous initiatives linked to these same issues. The most interesting case seems to be that of the Rojava Revolution, which, in a sense, has taken on all these issues. But there are many other cases. Classist struggles have been carried out by the majority of revolutionary syndicalist, anarcho-syndicalist and anarchist organizations, mobilizing formal and informal workers, waged workers and precarious workers. Many of these same organizations also have work linked to ecological, anti-racist, anti-imperialist, feminist struggles, etc. At the same time, other organizations, collectives and affinity groups — some of which have already been mentioned — have been working more specifically on these issues.

For example, in the United States, initiatives like Earth First [http://www.earthfirst.org/], Earth Liberation Front [http://www.originalelf.com/earthlib.htm] and animal rights groups have taken over ecological struggles and are promoting veganism, as well as the Institute for Social Ecology [https://social-ecology.org/wp/]; movements such as Anarchist People of Color (APOC) [http://www.coloursofresistance.org/tag/anarchist-people-of-color/], bringing together anarchist ex-members of the Black Panthers, have dedicated themselves to the anti-racist struggle, as well as the WSF-ZACF current, in South Africa. In Colombia, the Alas de Xue collective, and in Mexico, the Popular Indigenous Council of Oaxaca-Ricardo Flores Magón (CIPO-RFM) collectives [https://www.nodo50.org/cipo/] and the Magonista Zapatista Alliance (AMZ) have been emphasizing the fight against oppression of traditional and indigenous populations. In several countries, anarchists/syndicalists mobilized against US imperialism in the Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. In Israel, the AAW contributed to the struggle for national liberation from Palestine. In different countries in the Middle East and North Africa — something that also happens, to a greater or lesser extent, on all continents — there has been a major engagement in feminist struggles. Such are the cases of BAWU, Bagladesh, Mujeres Creando, Bolivia [http://mujerescreando.org/], and the Revolutionary Anarcho-Feminist Group (RAG), Ireland [http://ragdublin.blogspot.com/] . The latter two — and others, such as Sweden’s Fag Army — are also taking on struggles against homophobia and transphobia.

 


9. OTHER RELEVANT SOURCES

 

“Anarchism: A Documentary” Project

Ten years ago, a South African and an Austrian passed through different parts of the world doing interviews with anarchists and, recently (2020), started making them available on the Internet.

[View the videos]

They also did an online survey in 2010 with anarchists from different countries, checking profile, ideas, conceptions etc. Taking into account the appropriate methodological concerns raised by the researchers (spontaneous responses, almost all respondents from the United States and English-speaking Western Europe, etc.), it is an interesting source. It allows one to deepen the knowledge of this anarchist universe of the North Atlantic Axis (especially of the English-speaking countries):

[Read the survey]

 

Some other books:

  • Robert Graham, Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas. Vol. 3: The New Anarchism (1974-2012) (Montreal, 2013) [Download]
  • Ruth Kinna (ed), The Continuum Companion to Anarchism (London / New York, 2012). [Download]
  • Nathan Jun (ed), Brill’s Companion to Anarchism and Philosophy (Leiden/Boston, 2018).
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