The left

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Mexican rebels host international gathering

In August of 1996 3,000 people from all over the world gathered in jungle camps as guests of the EZLN to discuss building a global fight against neo-liberal capitalism. The EZLN is an army that has been in rebellion against the Mexican state since January 1 1994. Workers Solidarity Movement member Andrew Flood who attended as a delegate from the Irish Mexico Group reports on this conference.

Anarchism, insurrections and insurrectionalism

Insurrections - the armed rising of the people - has always been close to the heart of anarchism. The first programmatic documents of the anarchist movement were created by Bakunin and a group of European left-republican insurrectionists as they made the transition to anarchism in Italy in the 1860's. This was not a break with insurrectionism but with left-republicanism, shortly afterwards Bakunin was to take part in an insurrection in Lyon in 1870.

Review: James Connolly 'A full life' by Donal Nevin

Revolutionary martyrs, being unable to speak for themselves, are liable to be claimed by all sorts of organisations with whom in real life they would have had little in common. When they are of national or international importance, like the Irish syndicalist James Connolly, this also mean that biographies often tend to be very partisan affairs, aimed at recruiting the dead to one cause or another. The story of their life becomes reduced to a morality tale whose conclusion is whatever positions the author holds dear today.

Gardai attack globalisation protest at Dublin's Burlington hotel

Flour in the lobby of the Burlington hotel during globalisation protestA protest against an international privitisation conference at Dublin's Burlington hotel Oct 10 2001  turned violent when the Gardai (Irish police) attacked protesters with batons. They were aided by a number of non uniformed men armed with sticks and torches, some of who may have been political police (Special Branch) but others appeared to be private security.

The Mexican Zapatistas and direct democracy

On January 1st 1994, a rebel army called the Emiliano Zapata Liberation Front (EZLN) rose against the Mexican government in Chiapas, Mexico. Workers Solidarity contributor Andrew Flood has been researching the life of ordinary people in the Zapatista area. Below he writes about some of his findings

Anarchism, the Zapatista's and the emerging anti-capitalist movement

This is the text of a talk given to the WSM Ideas & Action dayschool 13 Nov 1999 shortly before the Seattle WTO protests.  It looks at whay anarchists should be interested in the Zapatista rebellions and in particular references the anti-capitalist network that was emerging around the rebellion.

Why parliament is a fraud

We are used to being promised the sun, moon and stars in elections only to receive cuts, cuts and cuts. Is this just because all politicians are liars or are there deeper reasons? Abstention from elections has been an anarchist tactic from the time of Bakunin. In this article we look at some of the reasons anarchists advocate abstention/spoilt votes.  The right to the vote was part of the hard won struggles of workers (and suffragettes!) over the last couple of hundred years. Obviously it is preferable to live in a parliamentary democracy rather than a dictatorship. Even the most flawed democracies are forced to concede rights that dictatorships do not, such as relative independence for trade unions, the right to limited demonstrations, a certain amount of free speech, etc.

An anarchist look at the Russian Revolution

The Russian revolution has been a subject of key importance to anarchists for two reasons. The first reason is that for the first time in history a working class revolution succeeded in ousting the old ruling classes. The second reason is that after the old ruling class was ousted a new class came to power. Those of us who want to make a revolution to-day must understand where the successes and failures of the past came from.

The changing nature of the working class

The nature of the working class to-day is quite different from that of a hundred years ago. In the late 80's a large part of the left interpreted this as meaning socialism was no longer possible, that the best hope was to form alliances with greens and others in a rainbow coalition which would attempt to limit the worst excesses of capitalism.

The Russian Revolution: Four October Myths

Tachanka mar chine gun horse drawn cart in Ukraine Makhno army

In 1922 Emma Goldman complained Soviet Russia, had become "the modern socialist Lourdes, to which the blind and the lame, the deaf and the dumb were flocking for miraculous cures." And like most religious events that claim a historical valadity many of the myths of the October revolution rather then being historical accounts are written instead to create a blind faith in the leadership of the party.

  


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