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(en) Britain, Anarchist Federation Organise issue #67 - Editorial to the anniversary issue

Date Tue, 24 Oct 2006 10:29:35 +0200


Welcome to the 20th anniversary issue of Organise!, for revolutionary anarchism as always.
After we covered the celebration of 70 years since the height of the
Spanish revolution in 1936 within the pages of our previous issue,
Organise! now brings you the other promised anniversary articles on
the 1926 General Strike in Britain and the Hungarian revolution of
1956. Mass revolt against governments has happened before, and it
can happen again if we can continue to build the anarchist
movement in Britain and internationally.
In the more recent past, much has happened that the Anarchist
Federation has engaged with practically and theoretically. We
won’t dwell on the details in the editorial. Just look inside and
read our open letter where we summarise some of what we do as the
AF and ask some questions - we hope you will consider answering
them. We also look back over the second decade of Organise!,
amounting to some 25 issues since we published our first ten year
review.

As we approach next year's local elections in Britain we know we
have to endure the mainstream media bombarding us until we are
sick with endless trivia about the two party race between Labour and
Conservative. While this is happening, the warmongering and
increasing repression of the State will no doubt continue unabated.
The authoritarian marxist-leninist Left have no answers. The
Socialist Party is in disarray once again, emanating from splits in the
Scottish SP. The trotskyist Socialist Workers Party, supposedly
anti-parliamentary (and with its claws firmly in the Stop The War
Coalition), has cynically put itself behind the electioneering
campaigns of Respect and has even stood candidates in council
elections. Next year, will it yet again ask us to 'vote Labour without
illusions' to 'keep the Tories out', because Labour is still closer to
the workers? Any remaining illusions, including the worth of voting
for politicians, have surely been dashed over the last decade of
Labour rule. As anarchists always say, voting changes nothing.
Supporting or lobbying politicians only encourages them, to the
detriment of self-activity. The Anarchist Federation does not claim
to have all the answers, but the anarchist tradition has been
influential in many past revolutions and in contemporary struggles.
Anarchist communism has endured, and it is growing
internationally.

Now is the time for those who are identifying with anarchism in the
environmental and anti-capitalist movement to take a serious look at
organisation. Will real change come from the acts of small direct
action groups or from the effect of our communicating more
effectively with working class and disaffected middle class people, so
we can 'do it' together? As the State increases its powers through
repressive laws and surveillance we can expect the police to come
down hard on clandestine direct actions of any kind. And in the
future, the mainstream press may well choose to ignore the reporting
of what governments will increasingly term 'terrorist' activities,
further starving such spectacular events of the publicity they seem to
depend on.

What is the difference between small scale insurrectionary activism
and mass revolution? This question is an important one that the
anarchist movement in Britain will need to answer in the next
decade. The approach has got to be about gaining wider support for
anarchist principles and aims amongst 'ordinary’ people who we
know are being attacked and stand to gain so much by the ending,
not reforming, of the capitalist system. We will certainly need more
generalised support to defend social centres from future
victimisation, which is bound to come. Propaganda is part of this, as
is the radicalising work we can do in our workplaces and local
communities. Anarchist organisations also help provide memory of
gains and losses from the choice of certain tactics and strategies. We
know what we want – the destruction of capitalism and a better
world. But we are small in numbers and we will remain small unless
we reach out. The AF believes that all this is done most effectively in
anarchist organisations.
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