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(en) Czech, ORA-Solidarita on S26

From worker@ainfos.ca, a-infos@ainfos.ca
Date Tue, 24 Oct 2000 11:25:40 -0400 (EDT)


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[article to be published, in french, in Alternative
Libertaire french monthly]

GLOBALIZATION OF THE ANARCHIST RESISTANCE
PRAGUE S26 AND THE ANTI-CAPITALIST MOVEMENT

September 26th saw a mobilisation of tens of thousands
of people all around the world against the IMF and
World Bank. 12,000 of them came to Prague to directly
challenge capitalist rulers of our world. And they
were successfull! Especially thanks to a large
international anarchist  contingent they managed to
seriously disrupt the conference of these two
institutions. Luxurious banquets were canceled and the
conference itself closed down already after its second
day, which was itself attended only by few financiers.

Prague S26 proved that ordinary people can take on
rulers of this world  and especially that a lot can be
achieved even by few organised people. The
mobilisation for S26 and the organisation of the
Prague 2000 counter-summit and protests themselves
were done by some 100 people involved in INPEG or
independent of INPEG.

Anarchist mobilisation

Anarchists played a very significant role in the S26
mobilisation. When Czech anarchists organised
solidarity actions for Seattle protests in 1999, they
were able to bring together only some 50 people.
Nevertheless, thanks to our involvement in working
class struggles and our direct actions, we had been
able to raise workers attention to the problems of
global capitalism. So eventually, all various groups
involved in the mobilisation got some 28% of the
entire population to support S26 protests and bring
about 2,000 young Czech workers, unemployed and
students at the demos in Prague.

As for the Organisation of Revolutionary Anarchists -
SOLIDARITA we were deeply involved in all these
activities. We co-organised solidarity demos for
Seattle and Washington and May Day 2000. Our members
egged US state secretary Madeleine Albright to protest
against American imperialism in Yugoslavia as well as
in institutions of global capitalism such as IMF and
World Bank. In this way we popularised S26 protests.

Some of our members joined INPEG to open a space for
revolutinoary  anarchist ideas at the counter-summit.
They also co-organised street medical  groups for the
Prague demos. But ORA-SOLIDARITA itself was organising
an independent anarchist mobilisation for S26 among
working class people. This mobilisation was on clearly
anti-capitalist and revolutionary anarchist lines.
Localy we were able to join forces with other Czech
anarchists and libertarian anti-fascists and our
infostalls, leafleting and posters were receiving a
pretty positive response from many workers.

In the meantime ORA-SOLIDARITA with its 12 members
incited through a relentless agitation a one day
occupation of a factory and a subsequent general
assembly of 1,000 workers of this factory and their
attempt at a formation of a strike committee
independent of the union bureaucracy. In another
factory we instigated a self-organised demo of 300
workers at which local union leaders got under attack
from rank & file.

Thanks to this involvement we have been also able  to
familiarise  workers with anti-capitalist ideas of S26
protests. At least in two factories rank & file
unionists demanded a collective participation at
Prague demos.

Anti-globalisation or anti-capitalism?

People who took part in S26 Global Day of Actions had
varying ideas about, what we should fight for. Many
green, left and union liberals of different shades
desperately try to make this new global movement a
movement "against (economic) globalisation" and
propose a reformed version of the current capitalist
exploitation. Unfortunately, a lot of sincere
activists fall for this trap, even if they consider
themselves as anti-capitalists.

The reason is simple: they do not have any broader
vision of an anti-capitalist strategy and because they
are so enthusiastic about the new movement, which is
to a significant extent based on direct federalist
democracy and direct action, anti-capitalism can
easily shrink for them to a focus on shutting down
particular capitalist conferences.

But what we need is to shut down all the capitalist
system and replace it with something better. This goal
can be achieved only through a self-organised social
revolution. And according to revolutionary anarchists
it follows, that towards this libertarian revolution
we need to spread anarchist ideas within the working
class and encourage in it self-organisation through
persuation and example of a collective direct action.

It means we do not cry together with liberal pacifists
in horror about "violence" if it is productive. At the
end of the day what counts is  not the number of
injured policemen and smashed McDonalds, but the
number of working class people at least partially won
to our cause.

Future for the movement

To pursue a real anti-capitalist spirit in the
movement, we need to  continue to involve ourselves
localy in day to day struggles around various issues
concerning working class people and really try to
imbue them with anarchist ideas. And of course we must
again and again use global mobilisations as an
oportunity to link all these social struggles and
movements into a mighty internationalist movement. And
everywhere we must agitate for the anarchist
alternative of Freedom, Self-Management and Socialism.

If anarchist or truly anti-capitalist ideas and
practice will come to a next Global Day of Actions as
well established in local social struggles and
movements, we will have a good chance to take on
various liberals and decaying leninist sects, whom we
have already totally overwhelmed in Prague S26. But
for this end anarchists definitely need national as
well as international organisations with agreed
politics and strategies and co-ordinated networks to
make their interventions more effective through agreed
joint strategy, tactics, solidarity and resistance. We
need greater anarchist unity.

After S26

After S26 Czech revolutionary anarchists find
themselves in a very difficult position. The State and
capitalist media are doing their best to stir up mass
hysteria aimed against anarchism. Using anarchist
clashes with the police and damage to bourgeois
property they try to discredit anti-IMF/World Bank
protests and anarchism and hide the real criminals who
were sitting in the Conference Palace protected by
police violence.

The social democratic government would like to
introduce more authoritarian laws bringing our country
a bit closer to the totalitarian police state of the
pre-1989 period. Laws which would allow Czech police
to use rubber bullets against demonstrators and which
would forbid demonstrators wearing scarfs and masks on
their faces. Rightwing politicians call for zero
tolerance of anarchism, which they consider to be a
new bolshevism, for  an open fire into anarchist
demonstrations and prosecution of people for spreading
"class hatred".

Nevertheless, a certain percentage of those 28% of
Czech people we had  been able to get to support S26
prior to the demos, can see beyond all those police
and media mystifications and to some extent still
supports us and the protests. In relation to the
police attack on Wenceslaw square on S26 in the
evening, when the police was firing tear gas granades
against people gathered in front of the National
Museum building, relatively many  older working class
people from Prague have recalled the memories of 1968,
 when Soviet tanks were firing against National
Museum. Just this time we have been experiencing
Western imperialism and not a stalinist one, defended
by Czech police and not by foreign armies.

ORA-SOLIDARITA will not give up! We are returning back
to our activity on workplaces and in communities to
tell people the truth about what was going on in
Prague and to build up on this and on our former
successes.


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