social movements

Past to present: lessons of the New Zealand labour movement

Video of a workshop given by Jared Davidson at Occupy Christchurch on union struggles in New Zealand, and draws out lessons that could inform our future activity.

Marx and the Anti-Poll Tax Movement - G. Barr

The poll tax was not an act of pure madness but was an attempt to deal with the intractable problems of the public goods crisis that afflicted the developed world. The response by the labour movement is examined in the light of the ideas developed about the state. The internal politics of the anti-poll tax movement and the changes provoked by the poll tax and its failure are then discussed.



INTRODUCTION
In the first part of this paper I will focus on the nature of the state in Marxist thinking. I will move on to look at the crisis in the welfare state. The paper will argue that poll tax was not an act of pure madness but it was an attempt to deal with the intractable problems of the public goods crisis that has afflicted the developed world.

25 years of the Anarchist Federation

Anarchist Federation logo

Published in the Anarchist Federation's twice-yearly magazine Organise! issue 77, Winter 2011, as part of the 25th anniversary issue, this article reflects on the last 5-6 years of the AF's development. It refers to involvement in events and social movements of the same period and the organisational changes resulting from the growth of the AF and development of relationships with other organisations (and non-organisations).

25 years of the AFED - Anniversary article

Occupy Rome 15 October 2011

A summary of yesterday’s events would be useless, as I’m pretty sure by now you’ve all read the big headlines about riots and clashes with the police at the “Occupy Rome” demonstration. If you haven’t, a good starting point is this video (in Italian). For some info in English, check Al Jazeera’s reports. (Neither reports are completely unbiased, don’t ask too much…).

Just like on December 14 2010, the protests got “violent”. The huge issue on which the Italian movements seem to be particularly stuck on, especially since the G8 in Genoa, is the eternal debate “Violence vs Non-violence”. I’m not going to go deep into this here cos it’s not the right place.

"Occupy Wall Street": Why the struggle must go beyond occupation

A friendly critique of the "Occupy" movements which urges the protesters to question their assumptions.

First of all, let me say I stand in full solidarity with the protesters; your actions have inspired us all and been the cause of some much-needed debate. It takes boldness and initiative to take these first steps, and you should be applauded for doing so. I believe all of you want a better world, a desire that I share with you.

Italy: An introduction to the NO TAV movement

A short summary of the NO TAV (No to the High Speed Train) movement, which is based in the Susa Valley in Piedmont and which opposes the creation of the new high speed railway line between Turin and Lyon in France. This line is part of a EU project which plans to connect Lyon to Budapest and then onto Ukraine.

Similar protest movements were active in the early 90s in Florence, Bologna and Rome, but their militancy and the brutal repression that this triggered in the Susa Valley has made the Piedmontese movement the most talked about.

Italy: civil war in Valsusa – Repression against NO TAV movement

After a crowded torchlight march on the night between June 26th and 27th, the Free Republic of the Maddalena in Piedmont was brutally assaulted by a full-scale military operation performed by around 2000 forces that turned the place into a battle site: teargas thrown at eye level, bulldozers and heavy vehicles used to evict the camp, water jets against protesters, beatings, tents and equipment smashed up. In the nearby town of Venaria, a riot police vehicle on its way to the site ran over and killed “by mistake” an elderly woman.

Demonstrations, pickets and several other initiatives were organised all over Italy to show solidarity with the NO TAV movement that for years has been fighting against the construction of a high speed train line between Turin and Lyon in France. A national demo was called out for today 3rd July, and it’s still going on as I’m writing this.

Casa Pound and the new radical right in Italy

Blocco Studentesco during scuffles in Piazza Navona, Rome, 2008.

You'd be forgiven for thinking that a group of zine-publishing techie squatters into rock music, baiting the state and defending the working class were part of the anarchist left. But, writes the Moyote Project, Italy's Casa Pound movement is symptomatic of the radical right's growing ability to assimilate progressive agendas into a toxic and populist political brew.

In 1973 the Italian neo-fascist group Nuova Destra (New Right) started publishing the DIY fanzine The Voice from the Sewer, as an ironic response to the left-wing slogan that incited (neo)fascists to return to the only place that they possibly could have emerged from.

World War I and the demise of British feminism - Susan Kingsley Kent

How war stifled British feminism. Up until 1914, the suffrage campaign became a mass movement involving thousands. In 1918, Parliament granted the vote to women over the age of thirty but, although half of the potential female electorate remained disenfranchised, organized feminism never regained its prewar status.

What happens if the USA defaults on its debts??????????

Given the US debt, and the global crisis unfolding, the question above should be seriously considered. My knowledge of economics is pretty poor, but I refuse to accept that experts are the only ones who have something to say, so....

(btw, this is something carried over from the Greek thread: out of the labyrinth.)

I quoted this comparison of the USA with Greece:

Quote:
the United States is in a similar mess. The same anachronistic, taxation-as-subjugation mentality exists among many and may lead to default on its debts in August.

(from here)