The difference between Anarchist groups around the world

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The Disappeared
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Mar 17 2005 14:41
The difference between Anarchist groups around the world

I’m not going to be in the UK that long and I’d like to try and understand the real differences between Anarchist/Socialists in the UK and those in Europe and also what I see as opposing views of those in the UK and the developing world.

It seems to me that in the UK Anarchist are far more into theory than direct action, I lived in Europe for a while in Spain, Italy and Holland where there seems to be a balance between direct action and theory, while in the developing world it seems to me to be far more direct action and a lot less theory.

There are a number of obvious reasons for the above, but it seems that I view things very differently to many in the UK, if you agree or disagree with my above statement can you explain why even if for you they seen obvious reasons they maybe things I haven’t thought about?

I am in Europe to forge links between groups in Europe and South America amongst other things such as looking at the way industrialised countries have dealt with Unions and other workers groups to see if there are lessons to be learnt for workers in nations that are currently industrialising and where workers groups are beginning to have some real political power.

The Disappeared
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Mar 17 2005 16:44
Jack wrote:
By direct action, do you mean people taking direct control of their lives (strikes, occupations, a community banding together against anti-social crime etc.) or substitutionist "direct action" (someone with dredlocks smashing a window then chaining themselves to a military base)?

Sorry I didn’t explain myself very well, I am talking about the former in both cases.

I have to say the people I stayed with across Europe really were not into mindless gestures.

AnarchoAl
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Mar 17 2005 23:46

There's a lot of diversity in the UK anarchist scene, and we're at a bit of a low ebb anyway right now. Which groups have you looked at?

The Disappeared
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Mar 19 2005 11:57
AnarchoAl wrote:
There's a lot of diversity in the UK anarchist scene, and we're at a bit of a low ebb anyway right now. Which groups have you looked at?

Well in the UK I haven’t met with any anarchist groups but I have met a number of individuals (most from London and the South of England but we did have a couple of people come to see us and they came from Scotland and the North of England and I have been invited to stay with them if I can get my funding extended past July), the UK seems to be a particularly hard to get any idea of what is going on, and while I expect most Anarchist to be worries about strangers trying to find out anything but in the UK it seem to be almost impossible.

We as a group have met with a number of Trade Unions in the UK and a number of other political groups but my task is slightly different as I am funded partly by different organizations with a view of making contacts with “outside the main stream” political groups whose aims and objectives are similar to our own.

I can understand that some people will feel they don’t want to write stuff on here for fear of being ridiculed by others, but if you are really interested in spreading the word and helping me understand the differences please feel free to send me a private message, I have read and printed out the Anarchist FAQ and I have also copied a number of pages from http://flag.blackened.net/af/, I have been given many Anarchist publications going back as far as the early 1980.

If you can point me in the direction of other sites where I may find useful information it would be appreciated.

This may be a bit of a bad question for your board but if anyone can tell me of a anarchist/Socialist board where there is more traffic and debate that could also be helpful, the board can be in English, Spanish or Portuguese, other languages would also be helpful but I would have to pass them to someone else.

Thanks

note to moderators, If the last question is felt to be out of order delete it, I will fully understand.

AnarchoAl
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Mar 19 2005 12:33
The Disappeared wrote:
AnarchoAl wrote:
There's a lot of diversity in the UK anarchist scene, and we're at a bit of a low ebb anyway right now. Which groups have you looked at?

Well in the UK I haven’t met with any anarchist groups but I have met a number of individuals (most from London and the South of England but we did have a couple of people come to see us and they came from Scotland and the North of England and I have been invited to stay with them if I can get my funding extended past July), the UK seems to be a particularly hard to get any idea of what is going on, and while I expect most Anarchist to be worries about strangers trying to find out anything but in the UK it seem to be almost impossible.

That's interesting to hear, I've not studied the anarchist movement in other countries at that level of detail. How do you find anarchist groups in other countries?

I can tell you about what there is in Glasgow- see http://www.glasgow-autonomy.org/index.php?option=com_events&Itemid=37 for a calendar of events and meetings in Glasgow. Not everything in the list is "anarchist", but it's all either anarchist or stuff that anarchists would support. A more complete list gets emailed out weekly, and is often posted on the enrager Scotland forum.

Off the top of my head (I may have missed some groups), in Glasgow there's GAP and G42 (social centre projects), a Critical Mass, an embryonic IWW branch, the Zapatista Solidarity Campaign, Camcorder Guerillas, some indymedia Scotland people, Troops Out (a non-heirarchical anti-war group), anti-ID card campaigns (was Defy-ID, now No2ID), wimmin vs G8, Reshape! Glasgow (an anti-G8 group), a campaign for better housing whose name escapes me, and a campaign against the building of the M74 motorway through people's homes.

I think all these groups contain non-anarchists, but all of them also contain anarchists. Some (GAP, G42, IWW) are mainly anarchist, others (Troops Out, housing campaign, M74 campaign) are mainly non-anarchist.

I have only the vaguest idea of what groups there are in other cities. I could list those I know, but it would be a short and very incomplete list.

Mike Harman
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Mar 19 2005 12:35

The Disappeared,

It's very bad that you've been unable to find much information. If you haven't looked already, you might want to check the http://enrager.net/britain/ of this site where there are links to national and regional organisations. People from the AF, Solidarity Federation Class War and other groups post on these boards, and I'm sure they'd be happy to answer questions in public or via pm. Also you probably want to check out the urban75 forums which are much more general but include posters from many anarchist and other groups, and plenty of non-aligned people as well. Have you been to Freedom bookshop yet?

The Disappeared
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Mar 19 2005 15:57

I’ll try and go through your posts bit by bit.

AnarchoAl asked, How do you find anarchist groups in other countries?

There were a number of ways, the reason we went to mainland Europe was they we already had many contacts there with groups, we have an exchange programme with Spain and many people in the main political group I have come with have Italian and Spanish passports (although they have never lived there, it is via parents and grandparents). I along with 3 others went to Holland as we already had friends living there. I wasn’t funded to come to the UK but one of our colleges was deported so I have come to finish what he started.

I am hoping to go to Scotland soon as I have been invited to stay with some comrades there and I think after that I will be staying in Yorkshire and then back to London, a number of people have said I should maybe go back to Scotland in July for the G8 and I am hoping to do that, as many people we met in mainland Europe have said they are coming to the UK for the G8.

I’ve tried Urban75 and I’ve been to the freedom bookshop. Thanks for the names of groups, it is sometimes very handy to have the research and other information about single issue groups, it saves a lot of time if you can go direct to the sauce.

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Steven.
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Mar 19 2005 16:23
AnarchoAl wrote:
That's interesting to hear, I've not studied the anarchist movement in other countries at that level of detail. How do you find anarchist groups in other countries?

all you need: http://ayp.subvert.info/

The Disappeared
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Mar 20 2005 13:06
John. wrote:
AnarchoAl wrote:
That's interesting to hear, I've not studied the anarchist movement in other countries at that level of detail. How do you find anarchist groups in other countries?

all you need: http://ayp.subvert.info/

If only life was that simple

Caiman del Barrio
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Mar 20 2005 23:19
The Disappeared wrote:
It seems to me that in the UK Anarchist are far more into theory than direct action, I lived in Europe for a while in Spain, Italy and Holland where there seems to be a balance between direct action and theory, while in the developing world it seems to me to be far more direct action and a lot less theory.

Assuming you're referring to what Jack defines as direct action (ie non-symbolic actions which aim to further communist tendencies within society rather gain column inches), then the reasons I would cite for the lack of it (relative to theory at least) in this country from my short time in the scene would be:

#1 the current lack of organisation, strength and class consciousness in the British working class, leading to a weak and divided revolutionary class struggle movement

#2 the belief by many self-proclaimed anarchists in symbolic direct action (aforementioned) and other symbolic ("substitutionist") activities, often stemming from a lack of class analysis.

Now wait for Jack to correct me. smile

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AndrewF
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Mar 29 2005 19:36

Where in south america are you from? Are you a member of a group there?

Vaneigemappreci...
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Mar 30 2005 10:33

A little off the trodded path here, but does anybody know of any anarchist groups or anarchist squats worth getting in contact with around europe? I'm gonna do a bit of travelling in the summer and although my grasp of foreign languages is pretty derisory (apart from a little spanish) itd still be good to link up with some of the european groups and develop some understanding of the struggle in other countries. Plus we cant afford to stay in hostels all the way and kipping rough may not be a good idea.

The Disappeared
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Mar 30 2005 13:37
JoeBlack2 wrote:
Where in south america are you from? Are you a member of a group there?

I am from Brazil (Sao Paulo State) and working with 2 groups at the moment.

They are the FAG (http://www.fag.rg3.net/) and I was working on the “FORUM OF ORGANIZED ANARCHISM”

I also work with “Movimento dos trabalhadores rurais sem terra” translates as “Movement of the agricultural workers without land” or more often called the MST (http://www.mst.org.br/), I have been working in Bahia State for the last 18 months before coming to Europe

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AndrewF
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Apr 1 2005 12:30
The Disappeared wrote:
They are the FAG (http://www.fag.rg3.net/) and I was working on the “FORUM OF ORGANIZED ANARCHISM”

One of our members here in Ireland is also a member of the CUAC (Chile) PM me your email address and I'll forward it on to him as I'm sure he'd like to talk to you.

Caiman del Barrio
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Apr 3 2005 21:29

Disappeared - have you heard of the MAS in Bolivia?? What are they like??

(Fuck it, why not)

The Disappeared
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Apr 4 2005 16:59
JoeBlack2 wrote:
One of our members here in Ireland is also a member of the CUAC (Chile) PM me your email address and I'll forward it on to him as I'm sure he'd like to talk to you.

I have now done this, thanks

I have met a number of people involved with CUAC at meetings I've attended they are also involved with other groups including FAG looking to forming a pan-south American Anarchist/Socialist/Communist group to share information and ideas.

Alan_is_Fucking_Dead wrote:
Disappeared - have you heard of the MAS in Bolivia?? What are they like??

(Fuck it, why not)

I know of MAS but only really Evo Morales who I met at a conference once, I have a number of contacts with MIP (Movement Indigenous Pachakuti) which I believe is more worker/peasant representative group, although I have read recently that MAS is broader based.

Caiman del Barrio
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Apr 4 2005 22:08

Thanks - I'm kinda curious as to their actual politics. I know this was in Freedom but it didn't really answer my questions. The Independent kinda hinted that they were quite authoritarian??

The Disappeared
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Apr 5 2005 09:02
Alan_is_Fucking_Dead wrote:
Thanks - I'm kinda curious as to their actual politics. I know this was in Freedom but it didn't really answer my questions. The Independent kinda hinted that they were quite authoritarian??

As I said above I don’t really know a lot about them, but I wouldn’t describe them as an “Anarchist” group although they are Socialist*, but things are changing very quickly as Bolivia’s newly discovered natural resources (they have discovered a massive supply of natural gas) has drawn lot of new people into politics’ who can only see personal wealth and are not really interested in “all the people”.

The whole economy of Bolivia is based on Coca and the Imperialists are against the growing of Coca while the people rely on it to survive. (I think this is one of the main differences between MAS and MIP. MAS wants to try to control the supply and growth of Coca centrally where the MIP believe it is up to the individual co-op groups to decide)

Socialist* As you will know there are a number of forms of socialism and I think that the MAS may well be going down the road of State Socialism, but I can e-mail a friend who knows much more about it than me if you are really interested.

There is lots of stuff about MAS on the Internet but most is in Spanish, there are a number of site translators that work very well now so maybe that would be the way to go.

AnarchoAl
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Apr 5 2005 14:02

I've been following MAS as well as I can through english-language resources. They seem to have a federal structure of some sort (I'm a bit shaky on the details), and they aim to seize state power to create socialism.

The Disappeared
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Apr 5 2005 14:33
AnarchoAl wrote:
I've been following MAS as well as I can through english-language resources. They seem to have a federal structure of some sort (I'm a bit shaky on the details), and they aim to seize state power to create socialism.

Have a look at this:

http://www.po.org.ar/oien/2005/oien02/oien02bolivia.htm

Caiman del Barrio
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Apr 6 2005 16:29

Thanks that's really interesting. Who are the MIP??

And I have an A Level in Spanish so any good (simple) links you have would be fascinating.

The Disappeared
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Apr 7 2005 13:15
Alan_is_Fucking_Dead wrote:
Thanks that's really interesting. Who are the MIP??

And I have an A Level in Spanish so any good (simple) links you have would be fascinating.

The MIP is the Movimiento Indmgena Pachacuti it is a peasant/rural workers group.

I have to say to my shame I don’t really know the ideological differences between these two groups, I have e-mails a friend who is working in Bolivia to see if he can give me a fuller picture of the differences between them.

Most people don’t know that Bolivia is the poorest country in South America and it has been governed by non Bolivians for as long as I can remember, I think now is the first time in living memory that there has been a majority of indigenous people in the Government although I believe that power is still in the hands of politicians of European decent.

This is causing real problems for the Yankee imperialists as the MAS & MIP have formed some kind of alliance and are pushing for the US DEA (Drug enforcement) to be kicked out of Bolivia as they are seen as the people who are employing the mercenaries that are raping and killing many peasants with impunity

I think (this is not fact) that the MAS tends to support the coca growers (Evo Morales is president of the coca growers) and is more popular in the towns and cities, small holders and rural workers tend to support the MIP.

This really is the place to watch at the moment as the Yankee imperialists have been told to fuck off and leave Bolivia alone, but they will not, I have read a lot about Bolivia since people asked me on this thread and I have to say I’m not really sure why it hasn’t been higher profile amongst anarchist groups across South America.

I have sent some e-mails now to see if I can give you are firm idea of the differences between these two groups (MAS & MIP)

Caiman del Barrio
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Apr 7 2005 14:54

Thanks a lot. That's really fascinating. Let us know if you get any more info from those emails.