The Importance of Print Media : And the Digital Censorship to Come.

CrimethInc.

Since 2017, we’ve distributed 50,000 stickers proclaiming “Immigrants Welcome.” Now, thanks in part to your support, we have printed 50,000 more copies. You can order them here for the costs of production and delivery alone.

In a time when digital media is the dominant form of communication, we remain passionately committed to print media and other forms of communication that intervene in the offline world. It is catastrophic that massive technology companies control so many of the channels through which we communicate with one another. While we acknowledge the importance of utilizing these channels, we recognize that it puts us in an extremely vulnerable position to depend on state-regulated capitalist institutions for our access to each other.

Already this year, we’ve seen several of our posts removed from social media sites on the pretext

More.

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The Electoral Road to Power?

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Black Rose/Rosa Negra Anarchist Federation

As the left revisits questions of strategy and the role of elections in the path towards socialist transformation, author and veteran activist Tom Wetzel outlines both a critique of the electoral centered path and a strategy for working class power from below.

By Tom Wetzel

Could a shift from capitalism to socialism be brought about through electoral politics? Ever since the origins of the modern socialist left in the late 1800s, many socialists have viewed the politics of parties and elections as a way they can insert themselves into history — forming a core component of their strategy.

In the World War I era the American Socialist Party (SPA) had gained a hundred thousand members and elected more than a thousand government officials — mayors, members of city councils and state legislators. By the mid-20th century “democratic socialism” had been coined as a kind of political brand to refer to the tradition of the socialists oriented to electoral politics as a strategy for social change.

The “democratic socialist” label was partly meant to show their defense of the systems of “representative democracy” and liberal values in western Europe, North America and elsewhere. This was combined with critiques of the repressive and undemocratic nature of the “communist camp” countries of the mid-20th century — the Soviet Union, Castro’s Cuba, Communist China. This defense of “representative democracy” is tied in with their basic strategy of working to gain political power through elections.

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US abortion bills are an attack on working class women

Anarchist Communist Group (ACG)

Alabama has passed the most restrictive abortion ban in the USA. The ban does not include exceptions for rape and incest with pregnant rape victims forced to carry their pregnancies to term. Doctors who perform the procedure will face up to 99 years in prison.

This follows similar bills passed in Ohio and Mississippi with the only exceptions being to avoid a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother, if the “unborn child has a lethal anomaly and if the woman has an ectopic pregnancy.

The bill doesn’t take effect until November and in the meantime the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has issued a legal challenge to the bill.

In other parts of the U.S where their have been legal challenges their have been some small victories with judges in Utah, Iowa and Kentucky stopping the bills from becoming law.

Thousands have demonstrated against the abortion bill with 500 demonstrations occurring across all 50 states. However the main groups organising these demos, Planned Parenthood, the Women’s March, the National Association For the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL), Pro-Choice America and the ACLU itself, have strong links to the Democratic Party.

The ACLU has a questionable history linked to their unfaltering belief in the freedom of speech, including to their detriment the defence of pro-Nazi and KKK speakers. At times the ACLU has aligned itself and been organised by pro-Soviet supporters of the Communist Party and found itself persecuted for doing so during the Red Scare era.

No one should be told what they can and can’t do with their body by the state.

Anti-abortion law disproportionally affects the working classes – travelling to another state to receive an abortion requires access to transport and money to fund the procedure.

It’s up to the working class to head the resistance for themselves, the working class cannot rely on the Democrats who have ambiguous positions on abortion and will turn their backs the minute they feel the wind is blowing in a different direction. Trump is making anti-abortion a key plank in the forthcoming Presidential campaign, which suggests this attack on women’s rights is the first of many to come. Against this must be advanced the demand for free abortion and free access to contraceptives and birth control.

The “pro-life” right are often the same patriots who are happy to send people as young as 18 years old to fight and die for their country. The same Republican supporters who want to cut what little welfare support there is for mothers and struggling families.

The Yellowhammer Fund exists to provide access to abortions and to build power for women in Alabama. They will be working tirelessly to support as many women as possible before November, when the anti abortion bill may become enshrined in Alabama State Law.

Their website can be found www.yellowhammerfund.org and their twitter is @yellowfund

 

Who Owns England? Book Launch with Guy Shrubsole. 26 June 2019, Bridport

Wednesday, 26 June 2019 from 19:00-21:00 United Church, 34 East Street, Bridport, DT6 3LJ

Who Owns England? Behind this simple question lies our country’s oldest and best-kept secret.

For centuries, England’s elite have covered up how they got their hands on millions of acres of our land, by constructing walls, burying surveys and more recently, sheltering behind offshore shell companies. But with the dawn of digital mapping and the Freedom of Information Act, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for them to hide.

Trespassing through tightly-guarded country estates, ecologically ravaged grouse moors and empty Mayfair mansions, writer and activist Guy Shrubsole has uncovered a wealth of never-before-seen information about the people who own our land, to create the most comprehensive map of ownership in England that has ever been made public.

Join author and campaigner Guy Shrubsole’s Who Owns England? book launch to understand how we lost our green and pleasant land and how to take it back!

This event is co-organised by Stir to Action and Port East, a co-operative and community business based in Bridport, Dorset.

facebook event

We Accuse

Reproduced in full from Verso Books

An open letter, originally published in French, written by a collective of French ‘Gilets Jaunes’ university academics – reacting to the social inequalities raised by the Yellow Vests movement, the series of measures the French government has taken since the movement’s beginning on 17 November 2018, and to abuses by the police forces during demonstrations and protest actions. The letter demands an acknowledgement of the movement’s demands, the resignation of the Interior Minister, and public inquiries into the violent repression that has swept France. As of the 15 May 2019, the letter has collected over 20,000 signatures. It joins similar calls and reactions by famous artists and medical doctors

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By translating this letter, we call on academics and intellectuals worldwide to support the movement and sign an international call of support which you can find here.

We accuse!

Since November 17, 2018, hundreds of thousands of citizens have expressed their concerns that their demands have been met by a deafening silence from the government. They have found the strength and courage to say, loud and clear, that they are tired and will no longer suffer the consequences of the harmful policies that have been plundering their work and common goods with impunity for decades.

The voices of the Yellow Vests have exposed the “scientific” lies and justifications given by the government and its assembly of courtiers to negate and cover-up the scale and significance of such exploitation. Their uprising showed the actual meaning of a policy that consciously organised the transfer of labour-accumulated value from 95% of the population to the 5% wealthiest elites. Their strength has been to raise awareness on the duplicity of power, power confident enough to boast about having multiplied by four the enormous wealth held by a tiny minority.

With the vast majority of the French people, we recognise ourselves in the awareness raised by the Yellow Vests. Each of us has become conscious of how we are faced, in all sectors of society, with the consequences of similar policies that only serve to intensify social inequalities.

From the start, the demands and expectations of change arising from this popular uprising have been clearly articulated. They immediately clashed with a power that never ceased to ignore their content, so as to reduce their challenging impact. It was first the deafening silence of a president and his court, holed up in their palace. It was then the attempt to deceive the crowd with false promises and crumbs from the table of the powerful–as always clawed back from the poor and from public services. Next came the setting up of a mere impression of consultation in which any possibility of interaction and debate was very skillfully excluded. It was, above all, the clear and thoughtful decision to prevent by all means the public expression of expectations and fully articulated demands.

Every effort has been made to silence the protesters. Starting from the initial weekly Saturday Acts, the authorities chose to respond with violence by asking the security forces to clear motorway tolls, roundabouts, to block access to demonstration rally spots and, above all, to “resolutely” intervene. We have all witnessed the consequences of these orders on the ground: we have witnessed with our own eyes the arbitrary filtering and arrests at town access points, preventing freedom of speech as well as demonstrations from taking place. We have witnessed the huts built at the roundabouts destroyed and relentlessly and bravely rebuilt. The purposely designed police intervention techniques (kettling, firing of tear gas from the beginning of the demonstrations, firing of defensive ball launcher grenades (LBD) without warning) were just incitements for the rare acts of violence triggered by deliberately seeking confrontation with the demonstrators.

Week after week, this lethal and repressive technique has been applied with increasing intensity. Protected by the government and covered by a code of silence shared by a large part of the media, exhausted police troops indulge into the worst abuses. Hundreds of peacefully protesting men and women have been attacked without reason and mostly with insane doggedness. Since December, the number of serious concussions has been steadily increasing: there are hundreds of people who have suffered severe injuries. Not a single mention was spoken by President Macron or his government regarding the victims, even for Zineb Redouane, killed after being hit by a teargas grenade as she was closing the windows of her 4th floor apartment. Nothing seems to be able to stop this dramatic escalation and we are ashamed to have to witness the self-congratulation of the authorities supposed to contain what President Macron termed a “hate crowd” (French: foules haineuses).

Choosing to violently repress all those who dare to rise and speak against these activities is certainly not new. It has been tested and practiced in the poor neighbourhoods and against vulnerable groups such as migrants and Roma or against other social movements. However, since November 2018 a threshold has been crossed. This strategy of violent repression culminated in the demonstration of May 1, 2019: not only was the full range of the state’s repressive arsenal deployed but the government was found once again guilty of fake news, with the supposed “attack” of the Pitié Salpêtrière hospital by demonstrators who had gone there to seek refuge. This government’s lie is a lie too many. It reveals the flimsy state of relentlessness and panic of a government at bay.

This state violence must stop!

We accuse the interior Minister of knowingly provoking violent reactions in our cities, on our roundabouts and public forums, in order to criminalise anyone who opposes its laws and harmful policies.

We accuse the government of using weapons of war banned in most Western countries against civilians, ignoring the repeated warnings of several international bodies.

We accuse the hierarchy of the judiciary of having agreed to cover up the government’s harmful policies by blindly and slavishly following orders given by the executive power.

We accuse the General Inspectorate of the National Police (IGPN) of expediting fake investigations, which, to our knowledge, did not result in the indictment of any member of the “law and order” forces.

We accuse those in the press and television media who have agreed to become mouthpieces of the interior Ministry and the prefecture without any check or oversight of their sources.

We call on all citizens to join the social movement to denounce the authoritarian drift of the government.

We demand the resignation of Mr. Castaner, interior Minister, and the opening of an independent inquiry commission to shed light on the excesses of those accountable so that they can be brought to justice.

French version published in Mediapart: https://blogs.mediapart.fr/les-invites-de-mediapart/blog/040519/nous-acc…

as well as:

https://lundi.am/450-universitaires-se-declarent-complices-des-gilets-ja…

http://site.ldh-france.org/ldh66/toute-l-actualite/

https://www.humanite.fr/repression-le-jaccuse-des-universitaires-672041

List of signatures (circa 20,000 as of Wednesday 15 May 2019): https://hackmd.iscpif.fr/3IwYk-chRkaHyn8xyU5D0w

Link to sign the French version: https://framaforms.org/nous-accusons-1557004350

Working Class Anarchism versus Middle Class Identity Politics

The South Essex Heckler

A discussion with Lisa McKenzie & Martin Lux.  Saturday 1st June, 5-7pm

Venue: London Action Resource Centre (Main Hall), 62 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel, London E1 1ES

An unprecedented political vacuum has appeared as the main parties disintegrate and implode. Anarchist attitudes and ideas should be gaining traction yet this is failing to materialise. Why? Could it be the abandonment of class politics? Or the prevalence of identity politics?

This event is part of the 2019 Anarchist Festival – full details of what’s going on can be seen here.

We’ve had a lot to say and write about this issue over the last few years, that’s why we’re flagging this event up. Hopefully, we’ll be able to attend and make some contribution to the discussion. In the meantime, we’re going to write a piece on this theme for the Thinking Out Loud section on this blog.