In this issue of the magazine, we continue our tradition of dealing with the pressing issues of the day for anarchists and libertarians, and for all who are seriously interested in bringing about a new society. We also continue to provide a space for non-members of the Workers Solidarity Movement who wish to contribute to the development of the theory and practice needed to bring about that new anarchist society.
We are pleased to carry articles by a member of the North Eastern Federation of Anarcho-Communists (NEFAC) in relation to the future of the Black Bloc and related issues, and by a member of Doctors For Choice (writing in a personal capacity) on abortion rights (or the lack of them!) in Ireland. As we have said before, we want this magazine to be a forum for debate and we welcome contributions from other anarchists. So if you have something to contribute - either in relation to any of the articles in this issue or on any other topic of interest to anarchists - please get in touch.
It is in looking at the lessons of the past and the present that we can develop theory and practice for the future. In this issue, we look at one of the most successful periods of anarchist history - the Spanish revolution - and, specifically, at how the workers' collectives in Spain were organised. Their success and the success of anarchism at that time remains a beacon of hope for the future. We also carry an article which argues that, if we want to create socialism it will have to be based on voluntary cooperation, not State power
In addition, we carry articles which analyse and comment on some of the ongoing issues which face the movement today. The Black Bloc tactic, the future development of the anti-capitalist movement and the links between its global and local elements are looked at.
One of the consequences of capitalist globalisation and of the 'War on Terror' has been a further tightening of border controls as Western governments build more and more barriers - both real and metaphorical - against the free movement of people. While anarchists are obviously opposed to all forms of immigration control, we don't always have all the arguments to answer the fears and worries of working class people when the right wingers issue their dire warnings about 'floods' and 'waves' of immigrants coming to take all our jobs and houses. In reviewing a book which argues the case against immigration control, we hope to provide some more of the necessary arguments for facing down such nonsense.
Islamic fundamentalism has emerged as the new 'bogeyman' and the excuse for the aggression of Western governments in their socalled 'War on Terror' in the wake of the September 11th attacks on the USA. The response of large parts of the left to the fundamentalists has been to adopt a 'softly softly' approach. In an article here however we argue that our enemies' enemy isn't necessarily our friend. We also take a look at the Irish anti-war movement during the 2003 gulf war. We carry two articles; one concentrates on the direct action movement, while the other looks at the political failure of the leaders of the mainstream anti-war movement.
We don't expect that any article will provide all the answers, but we do hope that the articles we carry will be thought-provoking and will contribute to the further development of the movement. Above all, we want the articles here to contribute to the development of a theory which when put into practice will lead us forward to a new, free, anarchist society.
Has the Black Block tactic reached the
end of its usefulness? by Severino (Barricada Collective)
As class struggle anarchists who recognize the importance of a diversity of tactics in order to attack Capital, the State, and oppression in an effective manner, we see the black bloc as an important tool of struggle. Only one tool among many, but an important one nonetheless.
Where to Now? Anti-capitalist
protest - global and local by Gregor Kerr
It is certainly hard to avoid the conclusion that anti-globalisation protests that avoid direct action will kill off the movement, or at least greatly reduce participation in it.
Repressing Abortion in Ireland by Mary
Favier (Doctors For Choice)
The Republic of Ireland has one of the most draconian abortion laws in the world. At present abortion may only be performed where continuation of pregnancy poses a 'real and substantial' risk to a pregnant woman's life - about 5 cases per year of 50,000 pregnancies
Direct Action against the war in
Ireland by Andrew Flood
In every country after February 15th the anti-war movement was thus faced with the question of what to do next. In Ireland almost all of the direct action protests were targeted on Shannon airport. More than half dozen successful actions took place, ranging from a large scale breach of the fence in October, to physical attacks on planes as the build up to war escalated.
The IAWM's dismal leadership" A critique of
the politics of Trotskyism by Dec McCarthy
After months of regularly attending the Irish Anti-War Movement's marches and particularly after months of listening to the speeches of the leading lights of the IAWM my head is buzzing with cant and rhetoric and I have that dejected feeling you get when you know you have just lost a chance that won't be coming around again for a long time.
Industrial Collectivisation during the
Spanish Revolution by Deirdre Hogan
Within hours of the start of the Spanish revolution workers had seized control of 3000 enterprises. This included all public transportation services, shipping, electric and power companies, gas and water works, engineering and automobile assembly plants, mines, cement works, textile mills and paper factories, electrical and chemical concerns, glass bottle factories and perfumeries, food processing plants and breweries.
If you want to create Socialism - it must
be based on Freedom by James O'Brien
Anarchists also seek to create communism. But for us freedom plays a central role, not only in the future society, but in how we try to get there. That is why, when we talk of communism, we talk of libertarian communism
Open Borders: The case against
immigration controls reviewed by Conor McGloughlin
Most mainstream groups eventually come down clearly in favour of immigration controls and deportations, though arguing for "generosity." This book takes a position that so far has only won over a small but growing minority and argues for the immediate ending of all border controls.
The trouble with Islam by Andrew
The September 11 attacks, the Afghan war that followed from it and the ongoing war in Israel/Palestine have once again raised the issue of Islam in the minds of many anarchists in Ireland and Britain. Not just because of the role Islam has in shaping those conflicts but also because militant Islam has become a far more noticeable presence on solidarity demonstrations.