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(en) Direct Action Against The War (AF Ireland)

From Al <klasbatalemo@yahoo.ie>
Date Tue, 12 Nov 2002 13:42:10 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

In 1991, when bombs rained down on Iraq, we marched
and listened to speeches.

In 1999, when bombs rained down on Yugoslavia, we
marched and listened to speeches.

In 2001, when  bombs rained down on Afghanistan, we
marched and listened to speeches. 

What are we going to do this time? 

Today there is significant level of popular opposition
to the war in Ireland, in Britain, across Europe and
even in the United States. The question is how is that
discontent going to express itself? 
With marches and speeches? Which do what exactly? Does
anyone really think that it makes the slightest bit of
difference, that all of a sudden the rulers of our
world, fattened on the blood of a hundred countries,
will suddenly turn heel at the sight of how ever many
thousand protesters! 

What does marching do?

(1) Those of us who have been around the block far too
many times know only too well that the purpose of such
events is nothing to do with stopping war and
everything to do with  building the membership of
leftist political parties. If you don?t believe me go
to one and see if anyone is trying to collect your
name and address, and see what they do with it. 

(2) Furthermore such events are actually functional to
capitalism, resting as it does on ideas as much as
force (which is always the last resort). 
Legally marching, much like standing for election, is
merely helping to promote the illusion that we live in
some kind of free society. One where we choose our
rulers, and where our rulers will respond to petitions
and assemblies of persons asking them gently to stop
this or that or to do this or that (of course an
actual free society would have no kind of rulers). 
As the organisers of these events know that this is
not the case (they claim after all to be
revolutionaries), this is further evidence of the
truth of the first point.

(3)  Thirdly such events re-produce the hierarchy of
capitalism, with a passive mass receiving the wisdom
of a few chieftains on a podium. 

What can direct action do? 

(1)  Get results! Anyone that doesn?t believe me, ask
yourself this question: Why is that both halves of the
adult population have the vote ? (for what it?s
worth).  Enough people in Shannon, enough times,
inflicting enough costs on the government and there
would be no more military re-fuelling. Just as enough
people not paying the water charges had them scrapped.

(2) Empower people, rather than disempowering them
through the sort of hierarchy described above. A free
society can only be created by millions, and not only
when millions have the desire, but when millions have
the confidence. Through small victories won through
our own hands (i.e. direct action) we gain such
What we do not mean by direct action are those actions
which are not open to mass participation, and which
relegate people to the status of spectators watching
individual heroism. We do not think you need training
to participate.

Some leftist groups criticise direct action as
elitist. The same ones that follow the teachings of
the man that wrote: 

?The revolutionary party  (vanguard) which renounces
its own dictatorship surrenders the masses to the
counter-revolution . . . Abstractly speaking, it would
be very well if the party dictatorship could be
replaced by the ?dictatorship?of the whole toiling
people without any party, but this presupposes such a
high level of political development among the masses
that it can never be achieved under capitalist
conditions.? (Trotsky, 1937)

Elitist! Beside me at both of the two recent actions
at Shannon were people who had never taken part in ANY
demonstration ever before, what an arrogant
condescending attitude these leftists have. 

The call has gone out for a demonstration at Shannon,
on Sunday, December the 8th., at 2pm.  A Grassroots
Network for Peace is in the process of establishing
itself, as a means of communication for people into
direct action, democracy, and kicking  Washington?s
legions out of county Clare.


>From the pages of Resistance#17, regular monthly
bulletin of the Anarchist Federation (Ireland), now
available in text and PDF format at:


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