Student demos: This is just the beginning – what comes next?

The super-fast radicalisation of the student demonstrations caught everyone by surprise. Direct action is on the agenda again and it’s coming from a group people discounted as being “the children of Thatcher” and dismissed as being fundamentally consumerist and non-radical.

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On “anarchist” bombs

Just before Christmas, bombs went off in two embassies in Rome, injuring staff in both. I immediately tweeted “#Anarchism has nothing to do with injuring innocent mailroom staff #Rome”  and I absolutely stand by that point.

Right now, across Europe and perhaps across the world, thousands of people are being introduced to anarchist ideas. Governments and politicians of all kinds have failed their people and are stealing from their populations to keep bankers and financial traders happy. Police have shown their true role as defenders of privilege with increasing levels of violence against protesters.

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Make the Post public

A few months ago, I wrote a comment piece for the Guardian’s website outlining an alternative plan for Royal Mail. Instead of privatising it or keeping in its current hierarchical nationalised form, I argued that it should be put into true public ownership with the workers in control.

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Meeting: Bringing syndicalism back into the mainstream

Public meeting on syndicalism - 20 May, 2010Last year at the Anarchist Conference, there was general consensus that a proposal to do something big to mark 2012 was a good idea. No, not because of the Olympics, but because it’s the centenary of the Jewish tailor’s strike in London’s East End that was the high point of anarcho-syndicalist Rudolf Rocker’s influence in the UK.

As I thought about it, I looked into the period between 1910 and 1914, known as the Great Unrest, when syndicalism was a major force for change in the UK. I realised how ignored this part of the history of these islands (Ireland, at the time, still being part of the UK) has become.

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The Baltic roots of gay rights activism

It looks like I’m off to Riga again this year to support the Pride march. This year it’s Baltic Pride, all three Baltic countries coming together. Last year, and previous years, it was just Riga Pride. I was there last year and saw hatred in the face of many behind the protective police lines.

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Poverty and the need for new radicalism

Ten years ago saw the first major global Reclaim the Streets action and, in many ways, the birth of what was to become known as the anti-globalization movement. The street battles of the years that followed, as activists around the world targeted all the symbols of the world’s financial inequality – the WTO, IMF, WEF, G8 – put poverty back on the global agenda.

Ten years ago saw the first major global Reclaim the Streets action and, in many ways, the birth of what was to become known as the anti-globalization movement. The street battles of the years that followed, as activists around the world targeted all the symbols of the world’s financial inequality – the WTO, IMF, WEF, G8 – put poverty back on the global agenda.

Continue reading “Poverty and the need for new radicalism”