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(en) Ireland: Workers Solidarity #81 - Book Review - The Irresistible Rise of Global Anti-Capitalism: We Are Everywhere

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 26 May 2004 11:42:27 +0200 (CEST)

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We Are Everywhere is a collection of articles, photos and interviews
about the past decade of global anti-capitalist resistance. What marks
this book out is that all the contributors are activists and this lends
the anthology a sense of immediacy and infectious optimism.
There are 55 pieces by contributors from all over the world.
Amongst the glorious Babel of voices are stories of land
occupations in Brazil, eco-activism in India, the emancipation of
imprisoned asylum seekers in Australia and actions against the
privatisation of water in Bolivia. There are tales from the
Zapatista heartland in Mexico, the unemployed movement in
Argentina and solidarity volunteers in Palestine and a plethora of
other accounts of anti-capitalist activity including two pieces
written by Irish anarchists. The picture that emerges from the
book is a large, multilayered and complex movement for global
justice made up of a web of interconnected struggles.
Importantly, the Utopian ambitions and fierce hope of the
movement is balanced by a firm emphasis on practical solidarity
and direct action.

The book is primarily an activist history of the anti-capitalist
movement and reading through it you realize that the movement
has had a measure of success. The anthology begins in 1994,
when the end of history had been confidently announced in the
boardrooms of multinationals and in the corridors of power.
There was, they said, no reality or dream but the market and
there was no other god but profit.

It is clear that over the past decade of anti-capitalist activity has
done much to undermine and challenge this neo-liberal
orthodoxy. The leading capitalist institutions such as the G8, the
EU, the IMF and the World Bank, secretive and unaccountable
conclaves of the elite, are now firmly in the public spotlight and
can only meet if they are protected by thousands of cops. The
plans that these elites concoct at such meetings are now being
fought against by a dynamic and global resistance movement.
The book's greatest strength is that it manages to capture the
spirit of this movement and chart how the ancient struggle for
equality and freedom has given birth to a new radical,
transnational consciousness.

The editors have arranged the materials in the book thematically
to reflect what they believe are the most important characteristics
of the anti-capitalist movement. It is striking to what extent these
themes have been borrowed and developed from anarchist ideas
They highlight the participative and non-hierarchical way that
anti-capitalist groups and networks organise themselves, their
respect for individual freedom and creativity, their dislike of
dogma and established political parties and their desire to build
power amongst people rather than seizing it from the state.

All of these are typical concerns of anarchist politics and the tens
of thousands of nameless anarchists who have involved
themselves with the global justice movement should be lauded for
ensuring that libertarian ideas have played such an important part
in shaping the movement.

WAE is a well-produced, engaging and persuasive account of the
development of the anti-capitalist movement. What it isn't, and
didn't set out to be, is a systematic analysis of modern capitalism.
The collection doesn't devote much time to analysis or strategy
and there is practically nothing explaining the nature of the
neo-liberal project. The book is confidently optimistic and
celebratory and for that it is worth-while but perhaps more
material on the limitations of the anti-capitalist movement could
have been included. There is very little about the movement's
weaknesses and failures and there is no sustained examination of
the differences between those struggling in the global north and
those struggling in the global south.

Nonetheless, WAE is an intelligent and impassioned account of
ten years of struggle - the victories, the repression, the passion,
the frivolity and above all the hope that inspires the anti-capitalist
movement. It reminds us that while they make plans we have the
ability to make history.

Ellen Walsh

Edited by Notes from NowhereVerso,
October 2003, 520 pages, 150 pho-tos,
Price: 13 euro
For more details go to http://www.weareeverywhere.org

Useful links

* Against capitalist globalisation http://struggle.ws/wsm/global.html
J18 London, N30 Seattle, S11 Melbourne, S26 Prague, A20
Quebec, M1 London, etc
This page is from the print version of the Irish Anarchist paper
'Workers Solidarity'.

We also provide PDF files of all our publications for you to print
out and distribute locally http://struggle.ws/pdf.html

Print out the PDF file of this issue

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