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vrijdag 6 juli 2018

Anarchic update news all over the world - Part 1 - 6.07.2018

Today's Topics:


      THE OCASIO-CORTEZ VICTORY IN NY (a-infos-en@ainfos.ca)

2.  France, Alternative Libertaire AL #284 - Interview, Yannis
      Youlountas (libertarian filmmaker): "A symbolic removal of power,
      before its political destitution" (fr, it, pt)[machine
      translation] (a-infos-en@ainfos.ca)

3.  [alter-ee] Armed political police attack an informal
      anarchist get-together in Belarus (a-infos-en@ainfos.ca)

      DEMOCRAT PROGRESSIVE. THEN WHAT? (a-infos-en@ainfos.ca)

5.  levante cnt-ait: CNT-AIT INFORMA + press release DEMAND for
      IMPOSTORES (ca, it) [machine translation] (a-infos-en@ainfos.ca)

6.  Britain, brighton solfed: Brighton Solidarity Federation
      wins a campaign against Brighton Hotel! (a-infos-en@ainfos.ca)


Message: 1

We reprint this post as part of our ongoing efforts to critically look at left 
electoralism and to pose an alternative vision of movement building and popular power from 
below. In this piece Black Agenda Report editor Bruce Dixon gives a critical assessment of 
the primary victory of New York congressional candidate Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez which 
stands in contrast to pieces such as "Why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Won" by Jacobin 
magazine. This a more detailed follow up from "Sure We Can Elect The Occasional Democrat 
Progressive. Then What?" ---- By Bruce Dixon, Black Agenda Report ---- Being the only 
sober guy at a victory party isn't fun. After writing earlier this week that we can 
sometimes elect progressives but we can't hold them accountable, friends and comrades are 
all over Facebook accusing me of negativity, saying I got no analysis and I'm a magical 
thinker. I dunno, let's see.

Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez won the NY 14th district Democratic primary earlier this week with 
only 16 or 17 thousand votes, a strikingly low number that wouldn't carry most such 
primaries. According to Democrat chairman Tom Perez, she has no Republican opponent in 
November, so she's in. That's a victory for sure. At least for a while, she'll be able to 
put out her message which includes abolishing ICE, free tuition and Medicare For All in 
places that till now have rarely given a professed socialist the mic. That's a good thing.

But there are four points to look at here, which I touched on in my previous piece and 
posts on Facebook. I'll dive into them just a little deeper here.

Historically NY authorities have rigged primary elections for low turnout. You can only 
vote in a NY primary if you're pre-registered a party member months in advance, so only 
271,000 voters were eligible in the first place. The low 13% turnout in that contest was 
actually higher than in some neighboring NYC districts. The engineering of low turnout 
primary elections allows Machine politicians to monopolize their party's nominations by 
getting out their relatively small and dependable vote and not getting the masses too 
excited over much of anything till the November general election when their numbers are 
needed to defeat suburban and upstate Republicans. Except for New York's partisan 
registration it's the same system used by the Daley Machine in Chicago until 1980, when we 
broke it open to elect Harold Washington in 1983.

Still, 16 or 17 thousand votes in a congressional district of 750,000 is far from a 
socialist landslide. Winning a congressional seat with that small a vote is a rare feat 
made possible by some local features that seldom occur outside New York City. While the 
Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez crew no doubt worked their asses off to get what they got, the 
same money and effort in most other places would not have done the trick in a 
congressional race. The 14th NY CD was a target well chosen by the folks at Brand New 
Congress , whom Ocasio-Cortez says asked her to run.

That's running and interpreting the numbers through the lens of history, and applicability 
to other contests, not negativity or magical thinking.

After 10 terms in Congress and with lots of corporate friends, Joe Crowley knows he can 
start at seven figures, at least six to twelve times his congressional salary plus bonuses 
as a lobbyist. That had to be a powerful motivation not to campaign too damn hard, and 
another circumstance unique to this particular contest.

The career path from legislator to well paid lobbyist is also not magical thinking, it's 
an American tradition. Ignoring this tradition and its likely effect on Crowley's campaign 
might be magical thinking though.

Ocasio-Cortez correctly portrayed Crowley as an arrogant lazy white boy deep in the 
pockets of corporate contributors allegedly representing a majority Latino district. That 
was a necessary and highly potent message needed to raise turnout enough to make the 
difference in a contest with historically low voter participation. A former Bernie 
campaign staffer, she also ran to the left of most Democrats, campaigning on free college 
tuition, Medicare For All, unambiguously denouncing the Gaza massacres and jumping with 
both feet on the massively unpopular Trump policies of tearing families apart at the 
border. This too is classic US left electoral strategy aimed at raising turnout among the 
folks who ordinarily pay little attention to elections, a tactic the electoral left has to 
repeat everywhere.

The phenomenon of white politicians representing minority districts is not as common as it 
was a generation or two ago. Neoliberal black and Latino politicians have moved into most 
of those spaces, and are far less vulnerable to attack purely on representational grounds. 
So that part of the Ocasio-Cortez playbook is not something that leftists will often be 
able to duplicate.

Assessing the relative importance of demographic factors and the messaging they enable is 
not magical thinking. Gauging the applicability of the strategy that achieved victory in 
the NY 14th CD to other contests across the country isn't legerdemain or sophistry either, 
it's the kind of common sense we must employ if we intend to achieve leftist victories 

I caught flack too for pointing out that under US law and custom candidates and office 
holders are free to do pretty much do what they like. This is true even in the Green 
Party, let alone the Democrats. Political campaigns are top-down affairs in which the 
candidate gets the final word on everything. Anybody who's actually worked a campaign 
knows this.

While there are no institutions under US law and custom that can hold leftist candidates 
and officeholders accountable to left constituencies or organizations, it's a fact that 
there are a galaxy of institutional levers and pressures operating inside the Democratic 
party aimed at flipping progressive elected officials rightward.

In my previous piece and Facebook posts I never touched on how socialist Ocasio-Cortez is 
or is or is not, nor on her foreign policy stands if she has any, which Berniecrats 
frequently don't, something that ought to make us a little uneasy. Bernie Sanders calls 
himself a socialist too, just with an imperialist foreign policy. I did say that 
progressive candidates and officeholders do sometimes flip, a little at a time or all at 
once, and when they do we have no institutions with which to punish them. "Feet to the 
fire" and "holding them accountable" are actually the phrases of magical thinkers because 
no means have yet been devised which enable the left to do those things.

I got in trouble for observing that while we can elect progressives from time to time we 
cannot compel them to remain that way. Until we figure out how to build institutions that 
can, we are at the mercy of their individual moral and political compasses. The need to 
develop left institutions to which progressive candidates can be held responsible is an 
acute one, which the Nation in its slavish devotion to the Democratic party predictably 
ignores. Noting this truth got me accused of being a petty, lazy purist and ultraleftist. 
Oh well. Sober analysis may not be what some people wanna hear at a victory party where 
everybody's popping champagne corks, dancing the electric slide and toasting the universal 
lessons of the Ocasio-Cortez victory without the bother of real analysis.

Being the sober guy at a victory party kinda sucks that way. But real talk, we're all 
gonna have to sober up eventually and figure out which parts of the Ocasio-Cortez playbook 
are peculiar to and which ones are applicable outside a majority Latino New York City 
district, and we have yet to devise any means of holding progressive politicians truly 
accountable. Those who think we don't need critical analysis or institutions to enforce 
accountability are the magical thinkers.

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report where this article originally 

If you enjoyed this piece we recommend the similarly themed pieces: "The Lure of 
Electoralism: From Political Power to Popular Power."  Additional articles can be found in 
our "Electoralism" and "Strategy" tags.



Message: 2

On the occasion of a projection on April 22 in Chalon-sur-Saône, AL Dijon went to meet 
Yannis Youlountas who was roadshow of its 3 e film, Love and Revolution. He gave us a 
video interview. Here are some excerpts: ---- Libertarian alternative: Is there a 
continuity between this film and the precedents you have made[1] ---- Yannis Youlountas: 
Yes, it is obvious filiation especially in terms of characters, the field, in this case 
the social movement in Greece in its diversity, with of course a little more anarchists 
than others, but it must be said that they are fairly well represented in Greece. ---- No 
longer live as slaves was a rather spontaneous film, for which " we turned the wheel of 
the camera in video mode ", to switch in the cinema because the photo and the articles 
were not enough any more to account for this that was happening.

For I fight so I am, we proposed a parallel with Spain, Catalonia and Andalusia in 
particular, but we made some progress at the technical level I think.

We wanted to get back to basics with this third film because, often, people have a deadly 
and violent vision of the revolution, while it is power, society and especially capitalism 
that are violent and deadly. . So, we wanted to show the opposite situation in reality: 
there are people who fight for life, the human, the earth ; and this society, on the other 
hand, is deadlocked. That's why love and revolution is so important to us.

In the face of Syriza's betrayal, what is the reaction of social movements in Greece ?

They are more radical than before that's for sure. This experience was obviously useful 
because it made it possible to unmask a political strategy that was once again in an 
impasse and wasted time on the social movement in Greece, which chloroformed the 
struggles. After that, it does not mean that the places were no longer working: 
occupations, initiatives of all kinds, including solidarity (self-managed medical 
dispensaries, free social kitchens) worked of course. In particular, we welcomed migrant 
women and migrants who came in large numbers from the summer of 2015, precisely after the 
capitulation. But it was only in the autumn of 2016 that the social movement was really 
much more powerful, active on many issues, for example against seizures of housing.

The social movement has therefore taken its autonomy ?

That's it. In fact, autonomy is to no longer believe in ourselves, that is to say in our 
capacity to take control of our own lives, to organize, to struggle, to resist and to to 
be in solidarity because solidarity is part of the struggle. " The only way to save 
yourself is to fight to save all others " said Kazantzákis [2]and it is valid on the 
ground in Greece with the migrants who allow us to build a new International, between 
Greeks and with solidarity people who come from the rest of Europe to help on the spot. 
All of this is coming together on a front line against the hardening of capitalism and the 
hardening of authoritarian society.

And against the hardening of the social movement, what is repression ?

In Greece as in France, there is more and more violence of power and of course also 
violence from its police auxiliaries, the Fascists. They are everywhere in the service of 
power while claiming to be an opposition to it, they are the spare wheel of capitalism and 
also the means of diverting anger towards scapegoats.

Here are some concrete examples of the links between police and fascists: during the first 
film, we showed a self-managed place (Synergie), which was destroyed by the fascists 
shortly after the shooting. At the time of this violent action, the fascists were preceded 
by four police motorcycles who left after the destruction and the beating of our companions.

Second example: Pávlos Fýssas " Killah P ", an anti-fascist singer, was murdered by 
neo-Nazis on 18 September 2013, and witnesses confirm that the police were present even 
before the murder at the scene of the crime and that they discussed with the murderer. 
That's why it's really important to fight capitalism and fascism at the same time. These 
are two struggles that are complementary and inseparable [3].

And actions on the side of the revolutionaries ?

In the red neighborhood of Exarcheia, squats have been multiplied since September 2015 
because of the arrival of migrant women and migrants, with the aim of offering them 
something other than the atrocious camps that were built, especially under French 
influence. following the visit of Bernard Cazeneuve to Greece, who, after the EU - Turkey 
agreement, launched the transformation of hotspots into detention camps and even detention 

There is of course the anti-fascist struggle which is very important, there is a[...]group 
that participated, with the self-managed medical dispensary, in the reconquest of the main 
Fascist district in Athens[...]. And even if recently there have been incendiary attacks 
against this local [4], the neighborhood is at least well maintained.

There is also the group Rouvikonas (Rubicon in French), named after a river that should 
not be crossed in ancient Rome otherwise it was the beginning of the end. This is a little 
bit what is said by this group: the power has gone too far, the offensive will be total 
even if for the moment it is not the direct action of the 1970s or the end of the 19th 
centurycentury, so no physical attacks on power. But on the other hand, there is an attack 
at the same time material and symbolic against the power. Material with the destruction 
for example of the files of the over-indebtednesses[...], then at the same time a symbolic 
attack which is very important too, because the power, it is above all a symbolic 
representation which leads us to the servitude voluntary, with people who are placed on a 
pedestal, who are sacralized under the pretext of a decorum, a set of regal traditions 
that make one submit to them.

So, to remove power politically, it starts with the destitute symbolically, to desecrate 
it. There are not only situations of very hard crises that lead the oppressed to question 
themselves, it is not only the critical time that leads to the time of criticism, it is 
also the social imaginary which is working, especially in our relationship to power and 
those who decide in our place of our lives.

This relationship to power is also played with the mainstream media ?

Yes. In Greece, the report to the media of power is even more firm and radical than in 
France. I think there is a big difference, although of course many people are boycotting 
the power media, and that's good. In Greece, most groups do so. Rouvikonas, in particular, 
instrumentalises the media of power in the following way: he does not frequent them but 
puts on line regularly his own videos in relation to the actions he leads, also attacking 
very important places of power (which can not not hidden beings of the public), putting 
online also releases on Indymedia. Therefore, the power media in particular can not hide 
these events and in addition, as Rouvikonas has always delivered the images to illustrate 
his words and well, they use the only images that exist,

A parallel to be made between Greece and France ?

In Greece, I think that the two most powerful phenomena that we see today, it is 
especially this radicality in the direct action and this new internationalism with the 
migrants and the migrants and the people in solidarity. It's a little bit that maybe 
missing today in France, it's this meeting of people from all over, even if, on the Zad 
for example, we can find that. In France you have a very interesting opportunity because 
you have a character at the head of the state that is really the caricature of what is 
actually power. That's good, you do not need to unmask the power since he himself is 
unmasked, he is identified as such. Macron is the very archetype of today's leaders in 
finance, economics and politics. And he's pedantic, he's arrogant, finally he has exactly 
the character trait that allows him to criticize and make fun of him. And finally he chose 
to attack everyone at the same time and that is very good because usually, the power 
divides to better rule. There, at the same time, he attacks self-managed houses for 
migrant and minor migrants, especially in Brest. [5], he hit the zadists, he hit the 
students, the pensioners.are struck in the wallet too, the railwaymen, the postmen and 
many others, the social security that affects still everyone, it's really an interesting 
opportunity to create a convergence of struggles against power in general.

Interviewed by Thomas and Gabriel (AL Dijon)

[1] Do not live as slaves anymore in 2013 and I fight so I'm in 2015, also available for 
free on the Internet ?

[2] Greek writer known for his novel Alexis Zorba

[3] " Greece, plays reveal the close links between Golden Dawn and the police ", 

[4] Since this interview, the Greek fascists have again attacked, to follow on the blog of 
Yannis: blogyy.net

[5] Brest.mediaslibres.org



Message: 3

Several people were charged with illegal usage of forest resources and distribution of 
extremist materials after political police with support of task forces attacked an 
informal anarchist encounter. Around 20 participants were at the camping site at that 
point. ---- On Saturday 30 June special task force of police attacked the camp shooting 
into the air. After a few minutes all the activists were forced on the ground by a crowd 
of people armed with machine guns and shotguns. ---- They were accompanied by chiefs in 
plain clothes but wearing masks. When anarchists started asking about the reasons for this 
circus one of the cops said that they had a report that somebody was illegally cutting 
trees in the area and shooting in the forest. Other cops were answering, "you are not 
stupid, you understand yourself why you are here".

Tents were searched for illegal materials. Merchandise from several
groups was confiscated under the pretext of distribution of extremist
materials. All activists were put on their knees and filmed by the cops.
Some of the anarchists were beaten up several times for asking questions
or refusing to do what cops wanted. The cops were trying to push at
least one person to give false testimonies and when the person didn't
agree, he was also beaten up. During 7 hours people couldn't eat or
drink, going to the toilet was the whole endeavor. During the whole
period of raid it was raining and people had to stay on wet ground, the
most impudent were put under the rain as a punishment.

In the end the police left the forest without any detentions giving
everyone a subpoena to an interrogation about extremist materials that
were seized. It is expected that repressions will continue and those
repressed will need money for the lawyers. A lot of "extremist"
materials were confiscated and will never be returned which is a huge
financial damage to those organizing local distros.

Those willing to support the Belarusian anarchists can donate to
Anarchist Black Cross Belarus - donation options

It is not the first time Belarusian political police with support of the
special task forces go to the forest to take care of illegal gatherings.
In 2016 cops raided a punk concert in the woods, confiscated all the
equipment and detained dozens of people.



belarus, pramen.io: Anarchist informal encounter attacked by political police

Several people were charged with illegal usage of forest resources and distribution of 
extremist materials after GUBOPiK (Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and 
Corruption, - a branch of Ministry of Internal Affairs, which executes the functions of 
political police in Belarus) supported by special task forces attacked an informal 
anarchist meeting. According to the ABC-Belarus reports, there were around 20 participants 
at the camping site. Below you can read the first-person evidence of one of the 
participants of the camp.


The journalists must be tired of writing about the anarchists being arrested, beaten up, 
etc. So I'm really sorry, dear colleagues, for this having happened again, yesterday, 30 
June, when 17 young men and women of anarchist views met for an informal meeting on the 
outskirts of Krupki (Minsk district, Belarus), looking forward for interesting discussion 
and camping in a nice company of comrades.

Having found a beautiful glade in the forest, we pitched our tents, organized an 
improvised kitchen, put up the canopy, and began our activities.

About 3 p.m., when we were preparing to the next discussion, we suddenly heard the 
sub-machine gun burst, and people in masks in body armor and with a variety of weapons 
arrived, shouting "Everybody down!!!", - they made everyone lie on the ground. - The 
police operatives - also masked - came after them.. They started filming us, asking for 
our names and reasons why we were here, in which quantity, whom had we come with.

The most ridiculous were the policeman's attempts to prove that they had come... because 
of the illegal felling of trees!

‘Who was engaged in logging? Whose saws and axes are these? Do you know how old are these 
trees?!' - That was said about two dry pine trees that we used as banks.

Time to time they were beating those who disobeyed the orders or just was looking to the 
sides whilst lying down. Not everyone of them showed their documents. One man from the 
environmental inspection, and another one who was wearing the mask, showed their identity 
cards of the members of SOBR (Rapid Deployment Special Force - the special unit of Ministy 
of Internal Affairs). The policemen in masks refused to show any documents, but I'm sure 
it were the operatives of GUBOPiK (Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and 
Corruption, - a branch of Ministry of Internal Affairs, which executes the functions of 
political police in Belarus).

If talking about me personally, I was beaten two times: when I tried to run away from the 
SOBR guys, and when the guys from GUBOPiK took me aside "to talk a bit". Nevertheless, 
they hit me not very painfully, probably having had received the order not to be too 
cruel. That "special operation" lasted seven hours, six of which I spent in handcuffs, 
mostly lying on the ground face down, under the rain. I was taken aside for two 
"conversations", the main sense of which was: ‘For what a f**k have you returned, get out 
to you Europe or we'll find a way to deal with you'. Surprisingly, they mentioned my 
articles, swearing. One of the GUBOPiK operatives also said, anyway: ‘We can find you 
abroad too', and added that I was ‘slander my motherland for money'.

For a most of time we were lying face down on the ground, waiting for arrival of various 
services and officials or for being called for inspection of our tents. The rain and the 
cold were the main problems. Some of us were made to knees, somebody was made lay down on 
the wet grass. Not mentioning such "small points" as constant insults, threats, kicks and 
stepping on lying people. One of our comrades was discovered to be having the stickers of 
the anarchist group ‘Pramen' (‘The Ray') - they took him aside and tried to make a video 
with him telling about that stickers. He refused, and they began to beat him. As soon as 
we noticed it and raised a cry, they stopped.

Then our things were inspected. The inspectors arrived with witnesses who were the guys 
from local Open-type penal colony (i.e. people totally dependent from the cops). At the 
end we counted and came to a conclusion that during the day our camp in the forest was 
visited by at least 40 cops.

Finally they drafted protocols onto 2 people from our group (about "The distribution of 
the extremist materials" and "Illegal vegetation removal"), and confiscated the anarchist 
brochures and stickers.

 From the very beginning we were sure that we were facing minor detention, as it usually 
happens after the riot police assaults anarchist events, being morally prepared to that. 
But, to our surprised, the SOBR and GUBOPiK left around 21.00. Then the inspectors left us 
too, having handed us documents ordering us to appear in the court the 6th July. Finally, 
at about 10 p.m., we were left alone in our destroyed camp in the forest.

Here are the top cops quotes:

"Fucking burnouts and drug addicts!"

"Is this your tent? And what if we find the woman stuff there, ha-ha?"

‘Dziadok will f**k away to his Europe, and you all will puff for him!'

(To the young comrade): ‘It is Dziadok who invited you here? What did he promise to you?'

"Just tell us who were cutting the trees, and we'll free you!"

(The investigator, on the phone): "How can I ask for their documents, they are all masked 
and with machine-guns!"

There were positive sides of the situation also. Noone of us gave a written explanation to 
the police, despite they demanded it. Neither anyone has told them anything beside their 
identity information. ‘What were you doing here?' - ‘Relaxing'. - ‘Whom do you know here?' 
- ‘Nobody'. In spite of the threats and beatings, everyone's behavior was decent.

Now my condition is not good enough to draw large-scale conclusions. I'll just tell one 
thing: Ok, we were left beaten and humiliated; well, the police managed to have got 
informed about our closed meeting and to disrupt it. But they couldn't do anything with 
our solidarity, with our belief in our ideas. We have already survived a lot of things, 
we'll survive it too. Without any pathos: that hounds haven't achieved anything.

After a bit of sleep and treatment, I'll continue sharing my thoughts."

Source: http://fb.com/happymikola (with few explanatory notes and additions).

Allegedly, the one who have leaded the SOBR and orchestrated the beating, interrogations 
and humiliations of the activists was Michail Bedunkevich - the chief of the 3-rd bureau 
of the GUBOPiK ("An anti-extremist bureau"). Previously he was involved in threatening 
anarchists and antifa, and falsificating criminal cases against them.

During the crackdown, a lot of "extremist" materials were confiscated and will never be 
returned which is a huge financial damage to those organizing local distros. Those willing 
to support the Belarusian anarchists can donate to Anarchist Black Cross Belarus.

It is not the first time Belarusian political police with support of the special task 
forces attack anarchist events in Belarus.

- June, 2017. Riot police attacks the visitors the punk-concert in Baranovichi. 3 ppl got 
5 days in prison.
- August, 2017. Riot police attacks the lecture of Russian antifascist Alexey Sutuga in 
Baranovichi. 15 ppl arrested.
- October, 2017. Riot police attacks the lecture of Russian anarchist Pyotr Ryabov. 20 ppl 
- October, 2017. Riot police attacks the antifascist concert in Minsk. Around 50 ppl arrested.



Message: 4

We reprint this post as part of our ongoing efforts to critically look at left 
electoralism and to pose an alternative vision of movement building and popular power from 
below. Here Black Agenda Report editor Bruce Dixon bravely pushes the logic of elections 
when he states: "What we rarely bother to think through is what we actually GET when we 
win." We also recommend a more detailed follow up on Ocasio-Cortez's victory by this same 
author, "On Magical Thinking VS Sober Analysis of the Ocasio-Cortez Victory in NY." ---- 
By Bruce A. Dixon, Black Agenda Report ---- Yesterday Alexandra won a NYC Democratic 
congressional primary in a majority Latino district against the arrogant right wing,out of 
touch white head of the Queens Democratic party, who hadn't even seen a primary challenger 
since 2004. The white guy was so deep in the pocket of corporate contributors that he was 
one of the few favored to succeed or oust Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. That's how the 
two parties choose their leaders in every state legislature and both houses of Congress - 
they're the ones who bring in the most donations from wealthy corporations and individuals.

Ocasio-Cortez campaigned on single payer health care and free college tuition. She 
denounced the latest massacre in Gaza. She says ICE ought to be abolished, and the day 
before the election she was at a South Texas immigrant detention center. She's a young 
working class Puerto Rican woman who reportedly refused corporate cash and was working a 
real job, waiting tables at the beginning of her campaign. She's a DSA member and 
professes to be a socialist. And now she's the Democratic nominee in a New York City 
congressional district. What does it all mean?

What Does It All Mean?
For a lot of people on the left, it's an occasion for celebration. I can understand that, 
I worked my behind off in campaigns against the Daley Machine in my native Chicago for a 
quarter century. We elected progressives to the city council, county offices, the state 
legislature, to Congress in 1983 and in 1987 the mayor's chair. I helped register hundreds 
of thousands of people to vote. I and the folks I worked with imagined that we could build 
a movement that might transform the Democratic party from below. It didn't work out so well.

It turns out that both elected officialdom and the Democratic party are institutions, and 
institutions change individuals way more often than the other way around. Some of our 
folks backed away from their commitments little by little, others frankly flipped, some 
were isolated and outlasted till they could be outspent. Despite the phrase being on 
everybody's lips, we never figured out exactly how to hold anybody's "feet to the fire," 
to enforce any sort of accountability.

We were and still are at the literal whim and mercy of our candidates and officeholders. 
When Chuy Garcia ran for Mayor of Chicago he refused to stand up in front of the Homan 
Square black site and denounce the thing. He even called for the hiring of a thousand more 
Chicago cops, and his movement supporters were utterly unable to talk him into the first 
position or out of the second. Even the Greens are not immune to this phenomenon. When 
Jill Stein chose to back away from a 2016 ballot access drive in Georgia and North 
Carolina there was nothing Greens in those states could do. Nothing. So exactly what does 
holding a candidate or office holder accountable look like? Do any means currently exist 
which enable us to do that? Maybe not. Maybe this is something we've yet to build.

When We Actually Win
Late last year, in a two day Movement School session in Jackson MS, Kali Akuno, the 
co-founder of Cooperation Jackson observed that in Jackson the movement forces proved they 
could elect a Chokwe Lumumba, the father and the son, mayor. But several years and 
multiple elections into the project, they still didn't know what degree of support there 
is in Jackson for their agenda of radical economic transformation.

We figured out years ago how to win elections under the right circumstances. Ocasio-Cortez 
was a Puerto Rican woman running against a lazy white incumbent in a majority Latino NYC 
district, and she built a competent organization. It should have been surprising if she'd 
lost. Her expressed views on most issues are laudable. What we rarely bother to think 
through is what we actually GET when we win.

When we're victorious in executive branch offices like mayoral elections, our candidates 
actually become responsible for administering the austerity and cuts. That's what's 
happening in Jackson MS and Newark NJ, to name just a couple places. We've been electing 
progressives here and there for a long time now. It's time to ask whether our ability to 
elect progressives has far outstripped our ability to exert real pressure upon them. Are 
we transforming the Democratic party, or are we merely legitimizing it, and launching yet 
another glittering career?

I don't pretend to have the answers. But these are questions which ought to be asked. And 
we can't be too thirsty to ask them.

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report where this article originally 

If you enjoyed this piece we recommend the similarly themed pieces: "The Lure of 
Electoralism: From Political Power to Popular Power."  Additional articles can be found in 
our "Electoralism" and "Strategy" tags.



Message: 5

For some time now, there have been two organizations in Spain that seem to share a name, 
since one day they were one and the same, but whose trajectories have been distanced. This 
is the CNT (formerly CNT-AIT) and the CNT-AIT that holds the right to carry the initials 
of the Anarcho-Syndicalist International, the International Workers' Association. ---- The 
time has come to make known to wider sectors of the population the circumstances that gave 
rise to this difference and the premeditated distancing of the basic principles and 
statutes from the executive committees of the CNT, generating the situation in which the 
anarcho-syndicalism in our country, represented today in the CNT-AIT. ---- Broadly 
speaking we could say that the organization that today calls itself CNT to dry began its 
deriving centralist, hierarchical and pyramidal for more than ten years. The CNT's own 
proportional voting system - whereby the unions with the most affiliations had more votes 
when making decisions - greatly facilitated this state of affairs, since it began by 
encouraging the unions to always be large cities those that will take forward their 
proposals to the detriment of the proposals of the unions of minor localities. The system 
was completed by increasing the minimum number of members needed to form a union, thus 
converting many who had previously been into "confederal nuclei" incapacitated for voting 
and making decisions within the organization.

This CNT began to organize itself in such a way that preponderance was given to the 
committees, instead of the assemblies and the traditional statutory processes that 
guarantee the horizontality in the taking of agreements. From our perspective, when the 
agreements emanated from these committees or the agreements taken by the force of the vote 
are mandatory for all unions in the organization, we are talking about authoritarianism 
within an organization that is called anarcho-syndicalist, horizontal and egalitarian. 
These committees expelled, disaffiliated and, in general, embittered the lives of many 
unions, in an anti-statutory way and, unfortunately, never tried to raise them again in 
the places they left devastated.

Anyone can see that, in practice, the CNT has increasingly become a service union that 
seeks to continuously increase the number of members, an affiliation that is not a member 
of the organization but that is limited to contributions and that, for Through a 
contracted legal cabinet, their conflicts are resolved - thus opposing the 
anarcho-syndicalist premise of direct action. To this we must add that the workers of this 
technical cabinet are hired by the CNT in the form of self-employed workers but, by 
working exclusively and having a monthly equal, automatically become false self-employed 
workers, being actually salaried employees of the organization. Other functions within the 
organization are also remunerated, for example, the work within the FAL (Anselmo Lorenzo 
Foundation for Libertarian Studies) through the hiring of a cooperative that is no more 
than a fiscal umbrella to hide direct contracting. We do not know exactly how many people 
are living exclusively from working for the CNT or for the FAL and we do not understand 
why CNT considers that they are not "liberated union members".

We know that the FAL, an organism belonging to the CNT, contravening another of the 
anarcho-syndicalist principles, has received state aid in accordance with the provisions 
of the regulatory bases for granting public subsidies from the Ministry of Culture. For 
this reason we understand that CNT is not against subsidies as it perceives them (see for 
example this BOE https://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2007/07/05/pdfs/A29139-29141.pdf ) .

And, although it is an odious issue, we should talk about the economic embezzlement that 
is occurring in the CNT by certain individuals for their personal interests: travel and 
stays are paid in large hotels and there are even accusations that there have been 
robberies direct to the accounts of the organization by secretaries. To this we must add 
another form of embezzlement, through the hiring of their own companies that invoice their 
work, whether it is in the realization of audiovisual material or in the reform of premises.

This way of working has meant that almost all the legal and pro-prisoners fund was wasted, 
originally intended as a box of resistance and support for prisoners and that has now been 
used to "liberate people". Another fund that has been squandered and has practically 
disappeared is the equity fund, which should have been used to help the new unions to have 
a place but was never used for this purpose.

To finish explaining this drift we need to talk about the AIT. In recent decades, the CNT, 
or rather its committees, have been continuously boycotting this international, engaging 
with other unions outside the AIT to form a parallel international, wanting to impose a 
voting system to make agreements. that would make the IWA dependent on the decisions of 
only three sections or blocking the money from the quotas that is contributed to the AIT 
behind the backs of the CNT's own unions. Until these actions led to the exit agreement of 
the CNT of the International Workers' Association, recognizing the facts for which the CNT 
voluntarily and deliberately remained outside the AIT.

It seems extensive, but it is only a summary since, for these practices and for many 
others, it is for what a considerable number of unions have been responsible for 
maintaining the CNT-AIT and restructuring the damage done from the committees of that CNT 
unrecognizable in its principles and traitorous to its own agreements and statutes. 
Federated unions after a congressional process outside the CNT of the committees that we 
do not recognize, breaking all relations with it and restructuring the CNT-AIT, an 
anarcho-syndicalist organization attached to the AIT (International Association of 
Workers) and that in its principles and practices is akin to and coherent with anarchist 
ideals and principles. We continue to be, therefore, the CNT-AIT, a recognized historical 
continuation of the National Confederation of Labor attached to the IWA since 1922.

All this situation could have continued to go unnoticed for the working class in general, 
but for the last occurrence of the very executive committees of that self-styled CNT: sue 
several unions of the CNT-AIT for the simple fact of existing and performing union and 
social action, sheltering in the legal excuse of a "fraudulent use of acronyms and damage 
its image and expansion". They have also sued the Libertarian Ateneo de Albacete, we 
understand that having a close relationship with CNT-AIT Albacete since they share a local 
space, and has demanded nominally several anarcho-syndicalist comrades from Cádiz. These 
demands not only seek the disappearance of anarcho-syndicalist organizations, they also 
ask for a compensation of € 50,000 to each defendant union and the compas of Cádiz,

 From our perspective it is incredible that an organization continues calling itself 
anarcho-syndicalist going to the courts to attack, through the state repressive apparatus, 
anarcho-syndicalist unions for the simple fact of existing. And it definitely confirms to 
us on which side this "split of the committees" is placed, self-styled CNT to dry in this 
class struggle.

We believe that it is a matter of anarchist ethics to bring these facts to the attention 
of the whole society.

You can find the CNT-AIT in the following places:

Granada - Torrelavega - Cádiz- Chiclana - Guadix - Madrid (Construction) - La Puebla del 
Río - Lanzarote - Lugo - Motril - Tarragona - Reus - El Vendrell - Elda - Castellón - 
Alcoy - Albacete - Marina Alta - Sagunto - Gandía


It is a little known fact that there are already two organizations in this country that 
seem to share a name, since one day they were one and the same, but whose trajectories 
have been distanced. This is the CNT (formerly CNT-AIT) and the CNT-AIT that holds the 
right to carry the initials of the Anarcho-Syndicalist International, the International 
Workers' Association. The time has come to make known to wider sectors of the population 
the circumstances that gave rise to this difference and that have generated the situation 
in which anarcho-syndicalism is found in our country, represented today in the CNT-AIT.

The dispute that gave birth to this division was born as a result of the internal drift of 
the CNT, which was on its way to becoming a centralist organization in a gradual break 
with federalism. An organization whose agreements, more and more frequently, were adopted 
from top to bottom, decided by their different secretariats and not by the assemblies of 
the unions, which breaks any principle of horizontality and transforms the CNT into a 
hierarchical and pyramidal organization. While the accounts of the organization were being 
emptied for the benefit of personal interests, we proceeded to the repeated expulsion of 
anarchist colleagues and unions that opposed this drift, with the intention of carrying 
out an ideological cleansing in the CNT.

To all this must be added the continued boycott of CNT against the AIT (International 
Association of Workers) when it was adhered to it: stoppage of financial contributions, 
repeated breach of agreements, concealment of information, conspiracy behind them with 
other trade union organizations from other countries to take away their strength, 
manipulation attempts to alter the voting system, etc. Finally, the IWA agreed to the 
departure of the CNT from its ranks, recognizing the facts for which the CNT voluntarily 
and deliberately remained outside the AIT. denying themselves the right to carry their 

But many of the CNT unions have taken the responsibility to maintain the CNT-AIT and 
restructure the damage done from the committees of that CNT unrecognizable in its 
principles and traitorous to its own agreements and statutes. Federated unions after a 
congressional process outside the CNT of the committees that we do not recognize. Since 
the restructuring of the CNT-AIT, which brings together these unions, is consistent with 
the principles of anarcho-syndicalism and respects and accepts the principles of the 
Anarcho-Syndicalist International, the IWA formally welcomed them into its ranks and, 
therefore, enjoys the right to show off in its acronyms those of the International. It 
remains, therefore, the CNT-AIT, a recognized historical continuation of the National 
Confederation of Labor attached to the IWA since 1922.

In recent times, CNT has sued several unions of CNT-AIT under the legal excuse of a 
"fraudulent use of acronyms and damage their image and expansion." He has also sued the 
Libertarian Ateneo de Albacete, we understand that having a close relationship with 
CNT-AIT Albacete as they even share local, and has sued nominally several 
anarcho-syndicalist comrades from Cádiz. These demands not only seek the disappearance of 
anarcho-syndicalist organizations, they also ask for an indemnity of € 50,000 to each 
defendant union and the comrades of Cádiz, which can represent serious difficulties for 
the anarcho-syndicalist comrades who could not assume this amount.

These are the different locations where CNT-AIT unions can be found:

Granada - Torrelavega - Cádiz- Chiclana - Guadix - Madrid (Construction) - La Puebla del 
Río - Lanzarote - Lugo - Motril - Tarragona - Reus - El Vendrell - Elda - Castellón - 
Alcoy - Albacete - Marina Alta - Sagunto - Gandía



Message: 6

Brighton Solidarity Federation Hospitality Workers have successfully concluded a campaign 
against a hotel in Brighton. Brighton SolFed had been working with a former employee for 
payment of unpaid holiday pay, as well as compensation for dangerous working conditions 
which have had a serious impact on this worker's health. ---- The worker was only 
contracted to work 20 hours a week, but was regularly pressured to work up to 40 hours, 
doing work that went far beyond their job description. In addition to his usual duties of 
taking care of linen and rubbish, he was given sole responsibility in evenings for the 
duties of a room attendant and dealing with all the requests made by guests, acting as 
luggage porter, cleaner of bar and brasserie toilets, and responsible for dealing with 
dirty clothes in the kitchen.

This extremely physically demanding overwork was compounded by various failures in health 
and safety, including being expected to push a broken rubbish cart for 6 months, despite 
this issue being raised with management, which has caused a long-term back injury. This 
was only acknowledged when he recently submitted a GP letter confirming this. He was not 
provided with safety gloves for six months and was expected to handle cages without 

To add insult to (literal) injury, he was only awarded holiday pay for the contracted 20 
hours of work, effectively missing out on half of his holiday entitlement. The disregard 
for not only this workers personal health and safety, but also basic legal requirements 
around his holiday pay is shocking.

Brighton SolFed organised with this worker and got the pay and compensation that they're 
owed after only one picket. Clearly having their working conditions subjected to the light 
of day was too much for these bosses to handle! This is yet another case to make hotel and 
restaurant bosses think twice before subjecting more workers to these degrading, 
exhausting and dangerous conditions.

The ease and speed with which this case was won further demonstrates the value of 
anarcho-syndicalist unionism. As the worker puts it, "I've never been in contact with 
unions or had been associated with any group. The problem of many of us[have]to take the 
first step to contact them, perhaps we don't do it because we believe that they won't be 
more than words and will not have an effective result... Solfed have[all the 
information]and know to handle it in an action process that they have organized, being 
very prepared people; their own safety and firmness creates in you a self confidence... 
During our meetings I felt that they also trusted me and that is why they supported me 
throughout the process, knowing that they were acting in my name being sure that it was 
worth it.

"It is obvious that a job is important, but people are more important, and If someone 
feels mistreated in a work environment it is best to leave the job, but not before having 
fought... and that's what Solfed is for."

Don't let bosses get away with these criminal conditions. Unionise! Organise! Fight Back!

Get in touch with Brighton SolFed: brighton@solfed.org.uk



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