Once it became clear that Trump was going to become the president of the USA, my Facebook feed became cluttered with attempts to understand how that could possibly happen. How could a white supremacist, misogynist and utterly transparent snake oil salesman accumulate so many votes? Those on the left both inside and outside the borders of the USA struggled to understand what had happened.
A common conclusion in too many of these pieces is that the left needs to reach out, and listen to the concerns of, those who voted for him as a priority. In a similar fashion to how sections of the left evaluated Brexit, they see a working class anti-establishment rebellion in the Trump vote from what they term the ‘white working class’. They believe that component was won by Trump because it has been neglected by the left - often, they will assert, because the rest of the left was distracted by what they call identity politics.
Our inital reaction once it became clear that Trump was going to carry the electoral college vote. These 11 points were sent out via the WSM Twitter.
1. Reacting to Trump - part of pattern with Brexit - revolt against established neoliberal order led by reactionary super wealthy
2. Need to organise for massive transformation. Massive in numbers, massive in geographical spread, massive in scope.
The terrorist white supremacist suspect behind the Charleston murders has been identified as Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old from Lexington County, S.C. In this photo he is wearing the apartheid-era South African flag and the flag of the racist Rhodesian state on his jacket. Another photos shows that his car had a 'Confederate States of America' racist flag license plate.
The murders were carried out almost on the anniversary of June 16, 1822. That was the date in 1822 when Denmark Vesey planned a slave revolt in Charleston in order to liberate those enslaved, and sail to the black revolutionary republic of Haiti. Vesey was one of the founders of the church where yesterdays murders took place. The revolt was originally planned for July 14th, the anniversary of the storming of the bastille during the French revolution but was brought forward because of a fear of informers.
Lucy Parsons (c. 1853-1942) is worthy of a great biography. She took an active part in the American anarchist and labour movements from the 1870s to her death and should be better known to today’s radicals. Anyone described by the Chicago Police Department as “more dangerous than a thousand rioters” is worthy of remembrance. So the reprinting of Carolyn Ashbaugh’s Lucy Parsons: American Revolutionary should be welcome news – except that the book is so terrible.
Carlo Tresca is one of those rebel workers whose memory deserves to be honoured and Pernicone's excellent biography does just that. Pernicone's has previously produced an excellent history of the Italian anarchist movement ("Italian Anarchism: 1864-1892", Princeton University Press, 1993) and this work is of equal quality and of interest to anarchists. He obviously understands anarchism and writes with sympathy and knowledge about it. Such historians are rare.
A review of Paul Krugman's new book (The Conscience of a Liberal), discussing its strengths and weaknesses. It is particularly good on the results of 30 years of neo-liberalism on the American Working Class, plus on the importance of unions for workers. His call for a "New New Deal" should make us aware of why the first one was broken and that we should aim for more...
A few thoughts on Obama's election victory. Yes, it is historic but real change comes from below and anarchists need to stress that.
Between February and May 2008 I interviewed 31 anarchists in the USA located in 17 different cities. The interviews are linked to below and provide a snapshot of the anarchist movement across the United States and anarchist attitudes towards local struggles and the US elections. The interviews were conducted during my 'Building a Popular Anarchism in Ireland' speaking tour during which I spoke at 45 locations across the USA and Canada.
Gale Ahrens has done the anarchist movement a real service in putting together this collection, which should rescue Lucy Parsons from the dark corner she has existed in. In it she emerges from the shadow of her martyred husband as a central if neglected figure in the development of anarchism in the USA.
I spent the last month Greyhounding around the USA speaking about anarchism in Ireland. Fourteen cities, 20+ meetings in thirty days in cities with populations from thirty thousand to over eight million. On my travels I used the opportunity to record interviews with many of the local anarchists who were organizing the meetings which I edited on the bus and posted to indymedia.ie once I hit my next wi-fi signal. I've collated these interviews below, over two hours of audio in all.