On the morning of January 1st 1994 a previously unheard of armed group in the state of Chiapas, South East Mexico, seized control of seven town and cities, freeing prisoners from jails and setting fire to police stations. This was the EZLN or Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional), the military wing of what came to be referred to as the Zapatista’s. By the standards of South and Central America the rebellion was a minor, short lived and small scale conflict, the fighting was over within 12 days. But what marked the Zapatista’s out was not their use of arms but the politics behind the rising, the large scale and long lived experiment in direct democracy that followed and perhaps most importantly the huge influence they were to have on the emerging summit protest left over the decade that followed.
About 250 people took part in the éirígí organised march on the banquet for the British Queen staged in Dublin castle Wedensday night. WSM members joined the demonstration but Garda had intercepted the person transporting our flags and banner to the protest leaving us somewhat invisible. This was part of a pattern of suppression of visible protest that occurred throughout the visit of the British Queen despite Garda claims that they would "facilitate protest" in advance of the visit. [Italian translation of this article]
The Strange Case of Tory Anarchism, Peter Wilkin, Libri Publishing
What have we done to deserve this? Really, what is it about anarchism which makes non-anarchists think they can appropriate our names and attach it to the ideologies and systems anarchism developed in protest against? Thus we have an oxymoron like “anarcho-capitalism” inflicted upon us, despite anarchism’s well-known socialist credentials.
Next week the latest in a long line of parasitic chancers who have ruled Britain and (up to 90 years ago) all of Ireland for centuries will descend on the city of Dublin. As a result some one million people are going to have their lives seriously disrupted and tens of thousands have already had to suffer intrusive Garda calls at their homes. Streets all over the city will be closed, Garda will be harassing pedestrians and motorists, even the zoo will shut. And all for what? That is a question that seems impossible to answer.
Anarchists have long argued that capitalism is an economic system riddled with contradictions. These express themselves in recurring crisis, when these contradictions expose themselves for all to see in generalised misery they produce.
The May bank holiday saw the annual Rossport Solidarity Camp gathering, this year across the road from the new Shell compound at Arghoos in Erris. As has become traditional the gathering combined a direct action with workshops and socializing. On the Sunday most of those present went to the launch of fisherman's Pat O'Donnell's new boat. There was a constant Garda presence around the camp throughout the weekend but despite the destruction of some 60m of Shell's bog road no arrests were made.
As Gardaí go door to door in central Dublin trying to intimidate any residents who might be tempted to protest against the visit of the British queen, their colleagues in Britain have mounted raids on social centers and squats across London. Five social centers were raided this morning in London and over 60 anarchists have been banned from the centre of the London on the day of the wedding of Liz's parasitic offspring. Cops used battering rams to raid 3 further houses in Hove.
On March 26th it quickly became obvious that the TUC anti-cuts demo was going to be nearly as big as the 2003 anti-war march. It was an impressive show of numbers – not strength, though, as there was no coherent call for turning words into action. That is why getting our message of direct action (strikes, occupations, etc.) is key. The notion that “peaceful” and “dignified” walking from A to B will change policies was, surely, put to rest for this generation when Blair took us into Iraq?
I left Ireland in 2007 at the height of the economic boom there, the unemployment rate was under 5%1, house prices had gone through the ceiling and the head of state had suggested that anyone who thought there might be an end to the boom should go and kill themselves. I passed through Philly in March 2008 and the news from back home was not so good as the international banking collapse was having its impact. That June I moved back to Ireland, and from then on the economy went into free fall, pushed over the edge by property speculation, which had grown exponentially in the previous decade.
An editorial in Thursday's (April 7th) Irish Times titled "Loose talk or malice?" accepted the interpretation that the Gardai recorded on the Corrib video were simply making a private joke about rape. The editorial found that unacceptable but less serious then previous "corrupt and illegal actions by a small number of its members." The attitude of the Irish Times that all that is at issue is some off colour joking has been reflected by other commentators. Some like Kevin Myers can be dismissed as pro-Shell loons but others who have taken this line seem genuine and therefore must not have given much thought to the context these remarks were made in. The context being both the circumstances these particular women found themselves in (in the power of the Garda concerned) and the general pattern of Garda repression of protest around the Corrib project.
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