Manchester AF on Gaza

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knightrose
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Jan 9 2009 22:17

Sheffield AF want us to point out that the leaflet should have had their name on it too.

john
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Jan 9 2009 23:17

isn't there a typo at the end of the last-but-one paragraph?

it says 'we ultimately have nothing but our ability to work for others'

shouldn't that be nothing to lose but ... (?)

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Django
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Jan 10 2009 08:50

Thats what defines us as a class - dispossession. Which is why this dispossession is then defined as integral to capitalism,and the states and wars it requires, and abolishing class the answer.

Edit - fixed from garbled tired post

john
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Jan 9 2009 23:55

ah - ok - re-read it now - yes i can see it makes sense i was just reading it wrong

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Joseph Kay
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Jan 10 2009 01:06

Brighton Solfed leaflet now in the library - adapted from the AF one. sexy pdf to follow when the attachments start working - or pm me an i can email you a copy.

akai
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Jan 10 2009 08:41

A small point to consider in relation to the Manchester and Brighton leaflets.

In general, I think they are quite good. I translated one in Polish since we need more texts here from an internationalist perspective. (The Polish texts tend to just defend the right of "self-determination" if not the creation of a Palestinian state.) It's great that we reject statist solutions. So I have a thought for consideration.

In much left and anarchist literature, we read all the time about "the West", ie. Western imperialism. I find this to be another basically false dichotomy. Just like there is no balance between Israel and Hamas but still we criticize the aspirations of both to rule the people, there is perhaps a more obvious and stronger history of imperialism overall in the West, but imperialism is by no means a Western phenomenom. All the strong Eastern countries have been imperial powers, often just as brutal as more famous powers like the US. In the context of the Middle East, Russia and previously the Soviet Union has had a hand in events for years. Their interests were not "antiimperialist" at all, despite what they claimed, but geopolitical and economic.

Many Eastern and "formerly Eastern" (Poland, Yugoslavia) countries were and are great arms producers, hence they are warwongers and war profiteers. The point I'm making is that imperialism is not a western phenomenon and some current situations in the Middle East are also partly the legacy of the policies of non-Western countries.

Another point is that, although we are definitely fighting capitalism, perhaps we can find ways to make it clear that the nominally non-capitalist countries are also imperialist warmonging scum.

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Joseph Kay
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Jan 10 2009 10:23
laureakai wrote:
In much left and anarchist literature, we read all the time about "the West", ie. Western imperialism. I find this to be another basically false dichotomy. Just like there is no balance between Israel and Hamas but still we criticize the aspirations of both to rule the people, there is perhaps a more obvious and stronger history of imperialism overall in the West, but imperialism is by no means a Western phenomenom

this is correct, imperialism is a dynamic immanent to a system of nation-states, not the policy of this or that one. our first draft just said imperialism, but in the context of slating nationalists and 'national self-determination' we felt it was vague and we could specify western (as a point of fact) without implying iran or syria say don't have imperial interests in the conflict.

akai
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Jan 10 2009 17:23

Understood. Only in general we should be careful of the phrase because it has become a pretty much stock phrase in many places. In the East in particular, it is used to manipulate by presenting the main agents of imperialism as "the West" - for example, Russia is never an "imperialist" - it is always "defending itself" against this omnipresent "West".

Also the East-West divide has been important in Russian nationalist thought for ages. It even is sometimes used to justify the most authoritarian forms of society. It is also important for Westen racists and nationalists. I just think it's a slippery area for us.

knightrose
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Jan 11 2009 18:04

The Zionists held a rally today in Manchester in Albert Square - outside the town hall. There was a call out to try and get there first and seize it. predictably not enough people turned up early enough - we'd have had to have been there last night! As it was the square was fenced off - we suspect illegally and patrolled by security guards - who we think were a Zionist "charity" and probably barely skating on the side of legality. And there were a few cops there too.

When we arrived there were only a couple of protesters, so we headed off to rendezvous at the Friends Meeting House and wait for others. It became clear to us that 1. the demo wasn't going to get near the Zionists and 2. the slogans being shouted stuck in our throats.

So about ten of us decided to break away and go and stand by the entrance to the rally - with our placards and try and leaflet and talk to the Zionists. It seemed no dafter doing that than talking to the counter-demonstrators tbh. Many of those attending the demo looked like pretty ordinary people who were Jewish and worried about the war - though clearly they saw Hamas as the only problem.

We were joined by a local green guy, with a megaphone. We shouted slogans like no wars, no borders, no nationalism, no religion and so on. Our Green mate loudly reminded them of the sixth commandment in the Bible - the one about not killing - which we joined in with, loving the sense of irony of a bunch of atheists quoting the Torah at Jews and Christians!

We managed to give out a few leaflets, some of which were read. We held a number of conversations, some worthwhile, some not. We certainly confused one or two people

I'm glad we kept ourselves separate from the main counter demo. There were loads of people in the Zionist rally who needed speaking to, not insulting.

The cops didn't know how to handle us. There is a definitely softly softly approach in Manchester at the moment. We were asked politely why we didn't go and join the "official counter demo". I told them that we didn't support them and wanted nothing to do with them. So they left us alone. Weird!

radicalgraffiti
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Jan 15 2009 12:34

Someone posted this on indymeda and now its being attacked by all the nationalists, hamas supporters and platformists, some one might want to go over and defend it

https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/01/418475.html?c=on#comments

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Django
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Jan 16 2009 11:52

We've also been criticised by the Trots from Permanent Revolution for distancing ourselves from the nationalist antics at a recent demo in Manchester. Theres a long debate in the comments thread too:

http://infantile-and-disorderly.blogspot.com/2009/01/mancs-protest-at-sickening-pro-israel.html

Spikymike
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Jan 18 2009 20:26

Well I trawled through that lot and must admire the persistance of AF and others in dealing with the stubborn dogmatists of PR but it is probably a waste of time. The invective beat anything I've come accross on Lib Com or other anarchist sites - I'm sure it would have ended with a fist fight if fueled by beer!

petey
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Jan 18 2009 20:44

i second laure's points in post 39 and knightrose's in post 33 (putting the libcommunity off the tracker did make a change)