social movements

Anarchism and syndicalism in an African port city: the revolutionary traditions of Cape Town's multiracial working class, 1904-1931 - Lucien van der Walt

The Cape Town docks in 1919, site of the joint strike between the syndicalist In

A paper by Lucien van der Walt examining the development of anarchism and syndicalism in Cape Town, South Africa in the early twentieth century and the then pioneering multiracial and determinedly internationalist stance of those anti-authoritarians involved.

From the history of the anarchist “Black Banner” movement in Białystok

Set the street anarchist Białystok at the beginning of the 20th century

At the turn of the 20th century Białystok, an industrial city with a population of 80,000 in the Polish part of the Russian empire, was the scene of one of the earliest examples of a mass working class movement inspired by anarchist principles. The ideological impetus for the revolutionary movement in Białystok in 1903–1906 was supplied by Chernoye Znamya [Black Banner], an organization which drew on classical anarchist doctrines but also developed its own approach to building a revolutionary working class movement.

No gods, no masters: An anthology of anarchism - Daniel Guerin

Guerin's classic anthology of anarchism translated and reprinted, available for the first time in a single volume. It brings together a vast array of unpublished documents, letters, debates, manifestos reports, impassioned calls-to-arms and reasoned analysis; the history, organisation and practice of the movement - its theorists, advocates and activists; the great names and the obscure, towering legends and unsung heroes. This definitive collection portrays anarchism as a sophisticated ideology whose nuances and complexities highlight the natural desire for freedom in us all.

States of emergency: cultures of revolt in Italy from 1968 to 1978 - Robert Lumley

Students demonstrate in Milan, 1968

The complete text of the definitive book on the mass social movements in Italy in the 1960s and 70s in which author Robert Lumley traces their development, growth then recuperation and decline. Highly recommended.

‘‘A laughter that will bury you all’’: Irony as protest and language as struggle in the Italian 1977 movement

A paper by Patrick Cuninghame reassessing the Italian "1977 movement" and its use of irony to ridicule the institutional old and vanguardist new lefts, particularly by the ‘‘Metropolitan Indians’’, the transversalists and other ‘‘creatives’’.

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.

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).

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…).

"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.