We want to financially support activists with different opinions who fight against injustice in the world. We also need your support for this! Feel free to donate 1 euro, 2 euros or another amount of your choice. The activists really need the support to continue their activities.

Wij willen activisten met verschillende opinies die vechten tegen onrecht in de wereld financieel steunen. Hiervoor hebben wij ook uw steun nodig! Doneer vrijblijvend 1 euro, 2 euro of een ander bedrag naar keuze. Deze activisten hebben de steun hard nodig om hun activiteiten te blijven uitoefenen.

Nous voulons soutenir financièrement des militants aux opinions différentes qui luttent contre l'injustice dans le monde. Nous avons également besoin de votre soutien pour cela! N'hésitez pas à faire un don de 1 euro, 2 euros ou un autre montant de votre choix. Les militants ont vraiment besoin de soutien pour poursuivre leurs activités.

Wir wollen Aktivisten mit unterschiedlichen Meinungen, die gegen die Ungerechtigkeit in der Welt kämpfen, finanziell unterstützen. Dafür brauchen wir auch Ihre Unterstützung! Sie können gerne 1 Euro, 2 Euro oder einen anderen Betrag Ihrer Wahl spenden. Die Aktivisten brauchen wirklich die Unterstützung, um ihre Aktivitäten fortzusetzen.

Queremos apoyar económicamente a activistas con opiniones diferentes que luchan contra la injusticia en el mundo. ¡También necesitamos su apoyo para esto! No dude en donar 1 euro, 2 euros u otra cantidad de su elección. Los activistas realmente necesitan el apoyo para continuar con sus actividades.

Queremos apoiar financeiramente ativistas com diferentes opiniões que lutam contra as injustiças no mundo. Também precisamos do seu apoio para isso! Fique à vontade para doar 1 euro, 2 euros ou outra quantia à sua escolha. Os ativistas realmente precisam de apoio para continuar suas atividades.


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zondag 28 maart 2021



Today's Topics:

1.  AWSM, Building alternative futures in the present: the case
      of Syria's communes by Leila Al Shami (a-infos-en@ainfos.ca)
2.  AWSM, Élisée Reclus: the making of a Communard - AUTHOR:
      John P. Clark (a-infos-en@ainfos.ca)
3.  Canada, Collectif Emma Goldman - Internationalism:
      and Esperanto (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]
      March 2021
      (ca, de, it, pt)[machine translation] (a-infos-en@ainfos.ca)
 5.  Greece, Patras: ASSEMBLY-MOTORWAY ON 
      ADMIRATORS AND CORINTH [machine translation] 

   6.  France, UCL AL #312 - Special file Paris 1871, The Parisian
      AIT in dispersed order (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]


Message: 1

"We are no less than the Paris commune workers: they resisted for 70 days and we
are still going on for a year and a half." Omar Aziz, 2012 ---- On 18 March 2021
people around the globe will be commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Paris
Commune. On this date, ordinary men and women claimed power for themselves, took
control of their city and ran their own affairs independently from the state for
over two months before being crushed in a Bloody Week by the French government in
Versailles. The Communards' experiment in autonomous, democratic
self-organisation, as a means to both resist state tyranny and to create a
radical alternative to it, holds an important place in the collective imaginary
and has provided inspiration for generations of revolutionaries.

On 18 March another anniversary will pass, but surely to much less acclaim
worldwide. On this date a decade ago, large scale protests were held in the
southern Syrian city of Dera'a in response to the arrest and torture of a group
of school children who had painted anti-government graffiti on a wall. Security
forces opened fire on the protesters, killing at least four, provoking
wide-spread public anger. Over the next few days protests spread across the
country, transforming into a revolutionary movement demanding freedom from the
four-decade dictatorship of the Assad regime. In the following years, as people
took up arms and forced the state to retreat from their communities, Syrians
engaged in remarkable experiments in autonomous self-organisation despite the
brutality of the counter-revolution unleashed upon them. As early as 2012, Omar
Aziz a Syrian economist, public intellectual and anarchist dissident, compared
the first of these experiments to the Paris Commune.

Omar Aziz was not a mere bystander to the events underway in Syria. Living and
working in exile, he returned to his native Damascus in 2011, at the age of 63,
to participate in the insurrection against the regime. He became involved in
revolutionary organizing and providing assistance to families displaced from the
Damascus suburbs under regime assault. Aziz was inspired by the movement's level
of self-organisation in its resistance to the regime. In towns and neighbourhoods
across the country, revolutionaries had formed local coordinating committees.
These were horizontally organised forums through which they would plan protests
and share information regarding both the accomplishments of the revolution and
the brutal repression the movement faced. They promoted non-violent civil
disobedience and were inclusive to women and men from all social, religious and
ethnic groups. Revolutionaries were also organising the provision of food baskets
to those in need and setting up medical centres to tend to injured protesters who
feared going to hospitals due to risk of arrest.

Aziz believed that whilst such activities were an important means to resist the
regime and had indeed challenged its authority, they did not go far enough.
Through their organisation, revolutionaries were developing new relationships
independently of the state based on solidarity, cooperation and mutual aid, yet
were still dependent on the state for most of their needs, including employment,
food, education, and healthcare. This reality enabled the regime to maintain its
legitimacy and perpetuate its power despite people's wide-spread opposition to
it. In two papers published in October 2011 and February 2012, when the
revolution was still largely peaceful and most of the Syrian territory remained
under regime-control, Aziz began advocating for the establishment of Local
Councils. He saw these as grass-roots forums through which people could
collaborate collectively to address their needs, gain full autonomy from the
state, and achieve individual and community freedom from structures of
domination. He believed that building autonomous, self-governing communes, linked
regionally and nationally through a network of cooperation and mutual aid, was
the path towards social revolution. According to Aziz, "the more self-organizing
is able to spread ... the more the revolution will have laid the groundwork for

Aziz was not concerned with seizing state power and did not advocate for a
vanguard party to lead the revolution. Like the Communards, he believed in the
innate ability of people to govern themselves without the need for coercive
authority. In his view the new self-organised social formations that were
emerging would "allow people to take autonomous control over their own lives, to
demonstrate that this autonomy is what freedom is made of." Aziz envisaged that
the role of the Local Councils would be to support and deepen this process of
independence from state institutions. Their priority would be working together
with other popular initiatives to ensure the fulfilment of basic needs such as
access to housing, education and healthcare; collecting information on the fate
of detainees and providing support to their families; coordinating with
humanitarian organisations; defending land from expropriation by the state;
supporting and developing economic and social activities; and coordinating with
recently formed Free Army militias to ensure security and community defence. For
Aziz, the most powerful form of resistance to the state was a refusal to
collaborate with it through building alternatives in the present that prefigured
an emancipatory future.

In November 2012, much like so many of Syria's revolutionaries, Omar Aziz was
arrested and died in prison a short while later. Yet, before his arrest, he
helped found four local councils in the working class suburbs of Damascus. The
first was in Zabadani, an agricultural and touristic town surrounded by
mountains, some 50 kilometres from the capital. The town was quick to join the
uprising in March 2011, holding regular demonstrations calling for freedom and
the release of detainees. By June, young men and women had formed a local
coordination committee to organize demonstrations and carry out media work to
communicate what was happening in the town to the outside world. Like the female
Communards of Paris, the women of Zabadani also created their own forums. In mid-
2011 the Collective of Zabadani Female Revolutionaries was formed. They
participated in demonstrations in huge numbers and called for peaceful civil
disobedience. They played a leading role in the Dignity Strike in December 2011,
a nation-wide general strike that attempted to place economic pressure on the
regime. In January 2012 they established Oxygen Magazine, a bi-monthly printed
magazine providing analysis of the revolution and promoting peaceful resistance.
The group later evolved into the Damma women's network, which continues to work
to support women to build resilience and alleviate the impact of violence in
conflict affected communities, as well as providing education and psychological
support for children.

Zabadani was liberated by local Free Army militias in January 2012. Barricades
were set up and the town was brought under the control of its residents. A local
council was established to fill the vacuum created by the regime's departure. The
town's Sunni and Christian residents came together to elect the council's 28
members from respected individuals within the community and to choose a
president. This was Syria's first experience of democracy in decades. The council
established a number of departments to administer daily civil life, including for
health care and humanitarian assistance, as well as a political committee
involved in negotiating with the regime, and a court to resolve local conflicts.
A military committee supervised the Free Army battalions to ensure security.
Whilst the council representatives were all men, the Collective of Zabadani
Female Revolutionaries played an important role in supporting the Council's
activities. Like the Communards of Paris, the people of Zabadani, who dreamt of a
free and just society, managed to creatively self-organise their community
independently from centralized state control.

Local autonomy and grass roots democracy was seen by the regime as its greatest
threat. As the government of Versailles, which had refused to fight against the
Prussians, turned their weapons on the Communards, so the Syrian regime directed
all of its might against the people of Zabadani. The town was subjected to a
siege, enforced by the regime and its ally the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, and
daily bombing led to a dramatic worsening of humanitarian conditions. Inside the
town, revolutionaries also faced challenges from extremist Islamist battalions
which gained in prominence over time and finally wrested control from the local
council in 2014. After a number of failed cease-fire agreements the regime
regained control of Zabadani in April 2017, after which many of its residents
were forcibly evacuated.

The experience of Zabadani was remarkable, but not unique. Over the course of the
Syrian revolution, land was liberated to such an extent that, by 2013, the regime
had lost control of around four-fifths of the national territory. In the absence
of the state, it was people's self organisation which kept communities
functioning and allowed them to resist the regime, in some cases for years.
Hundreds of local councils were established in the newly created autonomous zones
providing essential public services such as water and electricity supplies,
rubbish collection, and supporting schools and hospitals to keep operating. In
some areas they grew and distributed food. People also worked together to set up
humanitarian organisations, human rights monitoring centres, and independent
media associations. Women's centres were founded to encourage women to be
politically and economically active and to challenge patriarchal mores. One
example is the Mazaya centre in Kafranbel, Idlib, which taught vocational skills
to women, held discussions on women's rights issues, and challenged the threats
posed by extremist Islamist groups. Unions were established for students,
journalists and health workers. In the northern city of Manbij, revolutionaries
established Syria's first free trade union, which campaigned for better wages.
Cultural activities flourished, including independent film collectives, art
galleries and theatre groups. In the liberated town of Daraya, close to Damascus,
revolutionaries built an underground library from books they salvaged from
people's destroyed homes.

After 2011, before the counter-revolution ground them down, communities across
Syria lived in freedom from the tyranny of the regime. Power was brought down to
the local level and people worked together for their mutual benefit, often in
extremely challenging circumstances, to build a pluralistic, diverse, inclusive
and democratic society that was the very antithesis of the state's
totalitarianism. They were not motivated by any grand ideologies, nor led by any
one faction or party. They were driven by necessity. Their very existence
challenged the myth propagated by the state that its survival was necessary to
ensure the fulfillment of basic needs and stability. Syrians showed that they
were more than capable of organising their communities in the absence of
centralised, coercive authority by building egalitarian social structures and
recreating social bonds of solidarity, cooperation and mutual respect. There was
no one model or blueprint. Each community organised in accordance with its own
needs, unique local circumstances and values - the very essence of
self-determination - essential in a country which is as socially and culturally
diverse as Syria. What they shared was a desire for autonomy from the regime and
a commitment to decentralized, self-managed forms of organisation.

Whilst the experience of the Paris commune is well known and celebrated in the
West, we must ask why similar experiments happening in our own time in Syria are
not - why they have usually failed to attract even the most basic forms of
solidarity. Whilst much radical theory holds pretentions to universalism, it
often pays little attention to other, non-Western contexts or cultures. When
leftists in the West think of Syria they often think of foreign state
intervention, extremist Islamist groups, and numerous armed brigades jostling and
competing for power and territory. Little attention is given to ordinary men and
women and their courageous acts of defiance against a tyrannical, genocidal
regime. These people formed the backbone of Syria's civil resistance. They not
only resisted the regime but built a viable, beautiful alternative to it. Their
struggle became multi-faceted. They defended their hard-won autonomy from the
regime and later numerous foreign forces and extremist groups that saw their
existence as the greatest threat. They were shunned and often slandered by the
international community, including by people who consider themselves part of the
anti-imperialist left. Their existence became an inconvenience to the grand
narratives people wanted to indulge in regarding Syria's revolution and
counter-revolutionary war. Epistemological imperialism left little room for
Syrian's lived realities.

As with the Paris Commune, there is much to be learnt from Syria's revolutionary
experience. In times of insurrection or at times of crisis, new ways of
organising often emerge which provide alternatives to the hierarchical, coercive
and exploitative systems practiced by both capitalism and the state. Through
decentralised self-organisation, without the need for leaders or bosses, but
through voluntary association, cooperation and the sharing of resources, people
can transform social relations and effect radical social change. They show us
that emancipatory futures can be built in the here and now, even in the shadow of
the state.
All quotes are taken from the English translation of Omar Aziz's two papers on
The Formation of Local Councils by Bordered by Silence, except for the
introductory quote which came from Twitter, now deleted.




Message: 2

The experience of the Paris Commune had a profound impact on the thinking of
Élisée Reclus and inspired him to develop his extensive philosophy of freedom.
---- Elisée Reclus (1830-1905) is known as the foremost French geographer of his
age and as a major figure in the world anarchist movement. However, particularly
at this moment of commemoration, he also deserves recognition as a notable
participant in the Paris Commune, and as one of the most important interpreters
of that world-historical event. ---- On the eve of the Commune, Reclus was
already well-known internationally as both a geographer and a revolutionary. He
joined the IWMA, the First International, in the early months of its existence,
and became increasingly influential in its affairs in the late 1860s. During this
period, he also participated in the cooperative movement and co-edited a journal,
Coopération, with his brother Élie. In 1867, he joined the radical faction within
the League for Peace and Freedom, and the next year he co-founded, with Bakunin
and others, the International Alliance for Socialist Democracy.

In addition to engaging in this phrenetic political activism, Reclus was an
indefatigable researcher and writer. Following years of prolific publishing in
geography journals, the two volumes of a major geographical work, La Terre,
appeared in 1868 and 1869. His popular History of a Stream also came out in 1869,
and in 1870 he published the first volume of Terrestrial Phenomena, another
geographical work,

In late 1870, Reclus and many other Parisian radicals and revolutionaries
enrolled in the National Guard, as Prussian troops began to encircle the city in
preparation for the Siege of Paris and their imminent victory over the French.
With the collapse of the Empire and the establishment of the Commune in March of
1871, these dissidents became the armed defenders of both the city and the
popular revolution.

On April 4, Reclus' battalion was attacked by government troops and he was
captured. He would be sent to numerous different prisons, and then condemned to
transportation to France's most distant penal colony in New Caledonia in the
South Pacific. However, his sentence was reduced to ten years of exile in
response to an international petition signed by scientists (including Darwin and
Wallace) and other supporters.

Reclus' powerful experience of both the Commune and its aftermath was a crucial
turning point in both his life and thought. He reports that it was not long
before the specter of defeat and retribution began to loom over the Communards,
especially as the revolt failed to spread successfully across France. He claims
that they understood almost from the outset that they were risking their lives to
promote the cause of liberty. He writes in L'Homme et la Terre of the atmosphere
of "serene gravity" and "majestic grandeur" that pervaded Paris in view of the
"nobility of devotion" and the "breadth of the ideas" of the Communards.

Reclus' political views were deeply affected by this convulsive history of
triumph and tragedy. In some ways it accelerated the direction in which he was
moving politically and radicalized his outlook. In particular, it greatly
increased his faith in the capacity of workers and citizens to organize
themselves freely, cooperatively and democratically.

As late as January of 1871, Reclus still vacillated over presenting himself as a
candidate for the National Assembly - his name in fact appeared on two candidate
lists in Paris. However, through his experience of the Commune, he developed a
total opposition to traditional electoral politics. He advocated instead
evolutionary and revolutionary organization through voluntary mutual aid and
radical direct democracy at the base, and free federation at every other level.

Reclus' hopes for humanity and for revolution were intensified by the contagious
revolutionary spirit of the Commune. He cites in L'Evolution, La Révolution et
L'Idéal Anarchique the thousands of government troops who were stranded in Paris
and "were disarmed by the people and easily converted to its cause." In effect,
the Commune became the charismatic community that could arouse a kind of
revolutionary loyalty capable of vanquishing the old regressive allegiances to
church, state, or any other authoritarian institution.

Élisée Reclus
Reclus contended that the Commune possessed "an ideal that was far superior to
those of all the preceding revolutions." He says that it gave a new meaning to
the word "Commune," connoting not only the liberated community but "a new
humanity made up of free and equal companions, who pay no attention to the old
borders, but aid one another peacefully," he wrote in an essay at the end of the
century. The commune represents for him the concrete universal, the simultaneous
realization of both particularity and universality, embodied in a historical

Reclus argues that the destruction of the Vendôme Column, the symbol of French
imperial power, showed that the International's idea of universal solidarity had
become a living reality for the Communards. This act was in his view an
expression of "their fraternal sympathy toward the brothers who had been driven
against them, and their feelings of loathing for the masters and kings who on
both sides had led their subjects to the slaughter," he wrote in L'Evolution, La

He saw in the Commune the seeds of an even more revolutionary future. He points
to the Commune's actions of abolishing conscription, breaking ties with the
Church, returning pawned possessions, and canceling fines, fees, and rent
payments. He saw in all these moves "the beginnings of communist society."
Furthermore, he saw the ideas of the Commune beginning to spread around the world.

As evidence of the Commune's power of example, Reclus notes its influence in
Spain the following year. He contends that for a certain period, "the general
movement that was developing in most of the provinces and municipalities" took on
"an essentially communalist character," as he wrote in L'Homme et la Terre.
Moreover, "the principle of Federation," which he judged to be "inscribed on the
very soil of Spain, where each natural division of the country retains its
perfect geographical individuality," seemed to be "on the verge of triumphing."

Another effect of Reclus' experience of the Commune was to intensify his critique
of domination, and to reinforce his belief in the importance of deep, multi-level
social transformation as a precondition to successful revolution. This led him to
question and even criticize strongly certain aspects of the Commune, despite his
profound admiration for its achievements.

He argues in L'Evolution, La Révolution, for example, that just as the Revolution
of 1848 was doomed to failure because of an absence of the necessary degree of
both revolutionary commitment and revolutionary organization, the Commune's
revolutionary project also "could obviously not prevail." He explains that even
though it was "perfectly justified, indeed necessitated, by the circumstances,"
it was carried out by only half of Paris and had the support across France of
only the industrial towns." It seems difficult to question his contention that
the revolution could not succeed without the active support of a large proportion
of the French populace.

Reclus applies to the Commune the ideas that he developed over the years in his
writings on evolution and revolution. He believes that many of the
revolutionaries were still too much under the influence of traditional
centralist, authoritarian politics to create a new, radically libertarian order.
He contends that Paris remained too centered on itself as the great metropolis,
rather than as "simply the Commune of Paris calling for a free association with
other communes, towns and rural areas," as he put it in L'Homme et la Terre.

Reclus argues that faced with an increasingly probable future of "merciless
repression," the Communards should have used the brief period of relative calm
before the storm to create a legacy of "great and unprecedented examples" that
would show the true nature of a future society "delivered from hunger and the
scourge of money." He believes that this approach was impossible in large part
because of the ideological diversity of the Communards. Some, he says, were swept
up in "Jacobin Romanticism," others had "honest revolutionary instincts," but
little more, and only a minority realized "the necessity of proceeding
methodically with the destruction of all the institutions of the state and the
abolition of all the other obstacles that stand in the way of the spontaneous
association of the citizens."

For Reclus, the creative spontaneity of the people that is manifested in
revolution can only emerge as the result of extremely careful and wide-ranging
work to create its preconditions. For a successful revolution, it would have been
necessary for the citizens to have developed "a common will toward social
renewal" that they would have "imposed on their representatives." He concludes
that "the principal error of the Commune ... was precisely that of being a
government, and of substituting itself for the people by force of circumstances."
In his view there should have been more emphasis on the creative power of the
people in their neighborhoods and workplaces, and less on the initiatives of the
Council, as virtuously revolutionary as these sometimes were.

In Reclus' developed political philosophy, he saw four levels of community and
association as crucial to social transformation and to the liberated world of the
future. His experience of the Commune profoundly shaped the contours of his vision.

The first is the socially primary community which we might identify with the
affinity group as the micro-community of liberation. He discovered this reality
early in life in his large and unusual family, influenced by a father who "was a
precursor of anarchism" and inspired the family to "put communism into practice"
in its daily life, according to Reclus' nephew and biographer, Paul Reclus. As
early as 1859 Reclus referred in a letter to his sister to "little republics
within ourselves and around ourselves" that will "come together" and "form the
great Republic" and much later, in his correspondence with Clara Koettlitz, he
stressed the necessity that "friends who live and act in the same way" should
form "small loving associations" from which "the great fraternal society will be

It was specifically during the Commune that Reclus came to a realization that the
next, and politically most crucial level of social organization, must be the
autonomous commune. As the previous discussion has suggested, the power of the
idea of the commune for him can hardly be overestimated. In a letter to Alfred
Dumesnil in March, 1871, he went so far as to say that "March 18[the founding of
the Commune]is the greatest date in French history since August 10[the turning
point of the French Revolution]. It is at once the triumph of the Workers'
Republic and the inauguration of the Communal Federation."

 From that time on he was committed to the idea that a radicalized version of the
commune must be the primary form of political organization. Such a commune would
practice radical direct democracy in which the power of the people could be
delegated, but never represented or alienated. For larger purposes it would act
in solidarity with all other communes through free federation.

The third essential level of social organization for Reclus is that of the
workers' International, acting through its local sections. Though Reclus'
political vision is focused on the political form of the commune, he in no way
neglected the momentous, world-historical significance of the unity and
solidarity of all of humanity as workers. He saw many of the revolutionary
advances of the Communards to be clearly the fruit of the educational and
organizational efforts of the International. In L'Evolution, La Révolution he
went so far as to claim that "since the discovery of America and the
circumnavigation of the earth, no achievement was more important in the history
of man" than the International, in which all workers could "join together to form
a single nation, in defiance of all their respective governments." Reclus
believed that to succeed, the revolution must be carried out both at the communal
level and at the level of the vast majority of humanity, united and mobilized. To
achieve this, the International was necessary.

Finally, the goal of such a local and global revolution is to make possible a
fourth level of association, the Universal Republic, the most expansive
expression of human community and solidarity. This Republic will be based on the
free federation of autonomous communes on every level, from the regional to the
global. The concept of the Universal Republic was an important one for the
Commune. For example, the manifesto of the Federation of Artists of Paris
concluded with the aspiration that this "will contribute to our regeneration, to
the inauguration of communal luxury and the splendors of the future, and to the
Universal Republic." The Elections Commission, in deciding that foreigners could
be elected members of the Council, cited the fact that the flag of the Commune is
that of the Universal Republic. This discourse of the Communards must certainly
have reinforced Reclus developing idea that the form of the revolutionary future
would be a world of autonomous communes, united through federation into a
Universal Republic.

It should be added that in addition to all four levels of human community must be
added the ultimately most universal level of the entire Earth community. Reclus'
problematic of social evolution and revolution increasingly became identical with
a problematic of global social and ecological regeneration.

Reclus went on to develop an extensive philosophy of freedom inspired in many
ways by his experience of the Commune. He launched one of the most extensive
critiques of domination, analyzing the role of the state, capitalism, patriarchy,
racism, authoritarian religion and technology, in addition to human domination of
nature. He also presented a vision of a free, communitarian anarchist society
based on mutual aid and solidarity, in which values of love, beauty and
imagination were central to everyday life. Moreover, his analysis of the
dialectic of evolution and revolution contributed to an understanding of how we
might ultimately make the difficult passage from the realm of domination to the
realm of freedom.

Reclus' reflections on the enduring significance of the Commune offer a powerful
message concerning the fundamental ways in which we have wandered astray in our
voyage of liberation.

There exists today an imaginary space which the ideas of the Commune, the
International and Universal Republic once occupied. As part of its legacy, the
Commune bequeaths to us the project of filling that imaginary space. This can
only be achieved, first, through the rebirth of what Reclus called "the spirit of
full association," of l'entre'aide, a spirit that was once ubiquitous in
traditional and indigenous communities, and second, through the patient
evolutionary work of social creativity that is needed on the level of the person,
the community and the whole Earth, of which we are an expression.

Reclus believed that this regenerative work would provide us with the collective
force and inspiration necessary to take on the daunting but necessary task of
social and ecological revolution. Our problem is ultimately the problem of the
real. It includes the challenges of facing the power of the real, and of
confronting the gap in the real. Our great work, according to Reclus, is the
creation, at every level, of a powerful revolutionary reality that persistently
resists domination, so that we can find a rich and abundant life beyond
resistance to domination.

This evolutionary-revolutionary vision was very much a product of what was
revealed to Reclus through his tragic and transfigurative experience of the Commune.

John P. Clark

John Clark is an eco-communitarian anarchist writer, activist and educator in New
Orleans. His most recent book is Between Earth and Empire: From the Necrocene to
the Beloved Community. He directs La Terre Institute for Community and Ecology
and is a member of the Education and Research Workers' Union of the IWW.



Message: 3

Translation by us of a text written by Xavi Alcalde and published in the
newspaper Fifth Estate # 400 of spring 2018. The anarchist and Esperantist
Eduardo Vivancos in question unfortunately left us on December 30, 2020. ----
"Paroli Esperanton estis iam esenca parto de anarkiismo". ---- (There was a time
when speaking Esperanto was an integral part of being an anarchist.) ---- When
Eduardo Vivancos , a 97-year-old man born in Barcelona, walks the streets of
Toronto, where he has lived as an exile ever since 1954, he never meets anyone
speaking Esperanto. ---- Nonetheless, when he began to learn the language in June
1937, in the midst of the Spanish Civil War and the Revolution, he believed it to
be a component that goes without saying in the libertarian world.

It was.

At that time, in cities such as Barcelona and Valencia, there were Esperanto
courses and groups in all the athenaeums (the ateneos , anarchist social
centers). The CNT ( Confederación Nacional del Trabajo ), the anarcho-syndicalist
union, published a newspaper, Nia Bulteno (Our Bulletin), which included articles
in this language. Each of the other significant groups in Spain also had their
publications in Esperanto. The anti-Stalinist Marxist organization, the POUM
(Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista ), whose author George Orwell had joined
the militias, also published a newspaper in Esperanto. The Catalan government's
Propaganda Commissioner, Aume Miravitlles, later explained that they used
Esperanto in their official documents in order to join international anarchists.

Esperanto was created in 1887 by Doctor Louis-Lazare Zamenhof in Bialystok,
Poland. His idea was to develop an easy-to-learn international auxiliary language
to promote communication between people from different countries. It was designed
without grammatical irregularities and with a particularly clear phoneme-grapheme
(sound-letter) correspondence.

The first vocabulary words and sounds of Esperanto were drawn from European
languages (mostly Romance, minority Germanic and with a small portion of Slavic
languages). For example, demokratio and revolucio could be understood intuitively
by speakers of several European languages. Some words from other language
families have been added over the years.

However, Esperanto word construction is typical in the Japanese and Korean
languages, as well as in several non-European languages. This feature is rare
among European languages (with a few exceptions, see Hungarian, Finnish and

The flexibility in the order of words in Esperanto also allows its speakers and
writers of both European and non-European languages to use the way of speaking to
which they are accustomed and to use it. be easily understood or understood in
this international language. So while its initial vocabulary was unmistakably
European in nature, other aspects of the language allowed Esperanto to have a
truly international audience reaching over 2 million people at different times.

Zamenhof hoped to participate in the development of human brotherhood through
direct communication between people from different places.

Esperanto, he believed, would benefit those interested in interacting with others
internationally for various reasons and, eventually, bringing about world peace.
This language was supported by several anarchists, including Tolstoy and Malatesta.

By the turn of the 20th century, there were hundreds of Esperantist groups in all
corners of the world, although most were located in Europe and the Americas. The
language was taught in modern anarchist schools in the United States.

World War I dealt a major blow to the utopian ideals of the Esperantist movement,
which was vowed to take its place and make things of the past nations and
nationalism. Nevertheless, the language experienced a resurgence of interest
during the interwar period. Many among the workers' movement of the 1920s
embraced the new language as its participants promoted it as a necessary tool to
unite proletarians around the world.

Many communists of this time supported the use of the language. To cope with the
difficulties experienced in communication during the 2nd Congress of the 3rd
International in Moscow in 1920, one of the participants, the Spanish
anarcho-unionist Angel Pestaña, suggested that Esperanto be used. He promoted it
as a worker Latin, as a means of facilitating communication within the association.

In some countries, such as Japan and China, most Esperantist pioneers were
anarchists, and the language helped them communicate directly with anarchists in
Europe and the Americas.

But the defenders of Esperanto lived through the persecution and many were
executed under the Nazi regimes in Germany and the Stalinist regimes in the
Soviet Union because of the ideas they promoted and which were considered
subversive by the government. state.

However, to a large extent, Zamenhof's internationalist and pacifist ideals were
diffused to utopian revolutionaries like the Spanish anarchists of the 1930s, who
carried "a new world in their hearts."

In France, following the Second World War, the Spanish exiles of Franco's Spain
created an international association of Esperanto anarchists. Their official
bulletin was called Senstatano(Stateless) and was published entirely in
Esperanto. Among its contributors were famous Asian anarchists like Taiji Yamaga
and Lu Chien Bo .

In this age of global communications, there is renewed interest in Esperanto,
especially among anarchists in different parts of the world, although it is
unclear how many people are experienced enough to use it. Some mobile language
learning apps have started offering Esperanto lessons and at least one million
people have signed up.

Those who learn Esperanto via the internet can become familiar and familiar with
groups like Sennacieca Asocio Tutmonda(SAT), The Anational World Association. Its
participants include anarchists and other activists supporting revolutionary
social change.

At their last congress, in Seoul, in July and August 2017, the participants of
the SAT from different countries were able to witness directly on the spot the
South Korean protests which were then underway, called "Candle Revolution". .

It is probable that this active will to join together inherent in Esperanto
explains its survival for 130 years despite the great changes in political
organizations, dictatorships and persecutions. From this perspective, it has
potential that should not be underestimated. Very often, learning and practicing
the language itself is a revolutionary act.

If you happened to meet the aging, but still committed anarchist Eduardo Vivancos
in Toronto, you should greet him like this: Hi, kompano. Paroli Esperanton estis
iam esenca parto de anarkiismo . (Hi companion. Esperanto is still alive and
well, as is the anarchist ideal.)

There you go, that's all I had to write.

Xavi alcade

Xavi Alcalde is a researcher from Barcelona, Spain. He is currently writing a
biography of Eduardo Vivancos, an anarchist, Esperantist and Spanish Revolution
and Civil War veteran who currently lives in Toronto.

Eduardo Vivancos
A universal language

Originally published in the Fifth Estate newspaper .

Translation of the Emma Goldman Collective Blog

by Collectif Emma Goldman



Message: 4

Wide and deep debate has been generated in the trade union and popular movement,
and also through the press, with the participation of actors who have nothing to
do with the trade union organizations about the suspension of the PIT CNT police
"union", until a Congress analyzes and defines its situation. ---- For a long
time, the Coordination of Trade Unions has been raising the discussion of the
relevance or not of the integration of the police "union" in the PIT CNT. This
discussion became more relevant after the repression of a march against UPM in
2019. It is there that unions of various branches such as railways, postal,
taximeter, energy and water, public and private education, graphics, fishing,
municipal Refrigerators, are installing the issue, either directly in the
Representative Table of the Convention and / or in their respective base unions
and at the national level. Other union groups do the same.
FAU militancy has actively participated in the trade union milieu in this
process, promoting the outright expulsion of this obscene. All our militancy has
taken this issue for several years as an axis of agitation and we have placed it
in every possible way on the table, not in the press, but in propaganda and in
the debate between workers.
But on the other hand, the conjunction of voices that have come out to defend
those suspended is striking. A wave of indignation runs through the bourgeois and
yellow press, politicians of all stripes, especially from the rancid right wing
and from the reformist currents of the trade union movement. All in unison
shouting and shouting against this legitimate decision of the Representative
Board, and also using all the media tools to place in public opinion the idea
that the police officers who make up the "union" are "poor people who have been
attacked" and the unions that they promote the suspension of "some ultras" or
"some late-night ones", who little longer live "with their eyes on the back of
their heads", as Sanguinetti would say so many times.
Labor union?
The question should be asked, since a union supposes a set of instances and
actions where workers participate, carry out fighting measures, negotiate with
employers, etc. None of this is verified in this case. They are forbidden to
carry out strikes and assemblies in their workplaces, to disrespect authority and
they do not have the practice of challenging such mandates and impositions. On
the other hand, they have not starred in any concrete measure of struggle
throughout this period and they have not shown solidarity with anyone.
More than a union, Sipfom has corporate components, and its official adherence to
the repressive policies that are being carried out is also clear, pointing out
that they are closer to the government in power -and Minister Jorge Larrañaga-
because it takes into account with greater determination their proposals, and
they indicate that they are in favor of the Law of Urgent Consideration, the
legal framework of the repressive policy to come, and that it is being applied
from now on.
The police "union" applauds the policies of the Ministry of the Interior and the
statements of the Minister, who comes out in defense of the suspension. And his
legal representative thinks politically, as just another union leader and not as
his lawyer. His lawyer is Andrés Ojeda, alternate candidate for mayor for
Montevideo of the "multicolored coalition."
But above all things, any worker knows that a military man is not an equal, he is
not a worker. This popular lore has been forged over centuries and is part of the
lore of our class.
This goes back a long way.
In 2005, when the Frente Amplio took office, the Ministry of the Interior at the
time launched a policy to allow police "unionization", which had an immediate
correlation in the majority leadership of the PIT CNT, opening the doors of the
Convention to the Police. It was a de facto process, which was whittled away by
stumbling, especially since there were several police "unions".
It was a double operation: from the government to "democratize" the police and
try to co-opt them for the purposes of progressivism. For this, they were even
granted salary increases well above any worker or worker. Today, a newly hired
Grenadier as an Interior Ministry official earns more than a teacher with several
years of seniority.
On the other hand, the reformist currents of the PIT CNT lent themselves to this
"democratizing" attempt by the repressive forces, with Fernando Pereira being the
leader who sheltered the police "union" under his wing.
It is at least curious this acceptance of the police as workers and their
"unions" as part of the organized working class, in a union movement like the
Uruguayan, with a long history and accumulation of experiences and struggle,
always facing police repression. .
Applying the club
As soon as Lacalle Pou took office, the first measure that was taken was to bring
together all the new police chiefs and provide "work guidelines." The increased
patrolling and the return of the milicada on horseback was evident. Several
complaints were made public about police abuses. Pandemic and health emergency
released a bit, but then they returned to the load. Operations are carried out
against Candombe comparsas where women of Afro origin were especially repressed.
Several detainees, beaten people, go to court, etc.
And Sipfom supports this repression and points out that it "complied with
protocol," "acted according to regulations" and attorney Ojeda also supports and
supports it.
The events that occurred in Malvín Norte, where policemen fired pellets with
shotguns at two women and had to retreat before the fury of the neighbors, speak
clearly of the essence of the police action. Or going back a few years, the
murder of Sergio Lemos in Santa Catalina. Or the eviction of the Codicen in 2015,
the repression of the Buquebus workers, the arrest of the road transport workers
for holding an assembly at the door of the Montes del Plata plant, the attempted
eviction of the Bimbo workers and the repression of the mobilization against UPM,
are some of the examples of the last years that we can mention.
The operations in the neighborhoods have not stopped. Under the pretext of the
pandemic, they added the air patrol, the famous helicopter that flies over the
city and the coast as in a war operation.
The "new police" of Bonomi ... and the "old" of Lacalle Pou
During the administration of the FA led by Bonomi, an attempt was made to wash
the face of such a disastrous institution and there was talk of "the new police."
Lacalle Pou returned to the "old police", who was the protagonist of the
repression of the Filter at the time of the government of Lacalle Sr.
Beyond a certain "internal" among the police leadership, the repressive apparatus
has been technically advanced in an important way during the last 15 years, but
as Sipfom himself recognizes "they are the same police as always."
A rotten institution
The police are not a neutral institution, and neither is the state. Those from
the field of the left and the union movement who try to justify the affiliation
of the police "union" to the PIT CNT on the need to "infiltrate" the police
forces ... have a poor reading of reality, to say the least.
Confusing the Uruguayan police (and / or military) forces with the Armies formed
by peasants in Russia in the First World War or pretending that the police here
may participate in some revolutionary event, is worthy of political myopia or
deception and self-deception that no one can swallow. First, because we are
talking about distant situations in time and that have nothing to do with our
reality; and second, because the Uruguayan police have never shown any signs of
trying to participate in actions of a popular nature. On the contrary, they are
the force that is on the side of the bosses when an eviction or attempted
eviction from an occupied workplace occurs, those who have repressed various
mobilizations, arbitrarily detained people on the street, etc.
The function of the Police as an institution is repression. They are the
repressive and armed arm of the State. Its function is to repress and protect
private property, the fundamental basis of the capitalist system. Police officers
must fulfill both functions. Therefore, it is worth asking, what are they doing
at the PIT CNT?
It is the same police institution to which the torturer Castiglioni belonged,
idolized by the police personnel and from whom a plaque in his honor at the
Intelligence Directorate has been placed and then removed. By the way, let's say
that intelligence officials ("strips") continue to be infiltrated in all the
mobilizations of the popular camp. Their participation is to collect information
for the subsequent repression and set up of legal cases, they do not participate
as a sign of "support" for those struggles.
It is the same institution that assassinated the construction worker Guillermo
Machado in times of post-dictatorship raids, the first government of Sanguinetti
and Morroni and Facal in the Filter. It is the same institution that murdered
Líber Arce, Heber Nieto and all the student martyrs ...
Their participation was key when the armed forces took "institutional control of
the country" at the end of 1971, being part of the "Joint Forces". Torture was
done in its premises, Intelligence being a place of passage for hundreds of
militants by the prod, the tacho and the blows.
This institution was also part of the Dictatorship, in that period it continued
with the actions outlined above. Several policemen were part of the "task forces"
that operated here and in Argentina, kidnapping and torturing colleagues,
disappearing and murdering, kidnapping children and babies ... An infamous
It is a key institution in the State, especially in the bourgeois State, that is,
as the armed wing of the bourgeois class. Of course, the bourgeoisie are not
going to get their hands dirty, for that is that infamous apparatus full of
people who have been sown hatred for those below and love for authority. Even
today, a large part of the femicides occur at the hands of those who make up this
repressive apparatus.
A glorious past of the trade union movement
The Uruguayan trade union movement was built in the heat of innumerable and
powerful struggles, strikes, direct actions, which were always harshly repressed
by the Police. Hundreds are the disappeared and disappeared and thousands are the
prisoners who inhabited the prisons of the dictatorship that belong or belonged
to the Uruguayan trade union movement. We find it hard to believe that those
generations of such tough and combative militants such as León Duarte, Gerardo
Gatti and also others from other stores, if they were here, would agree to
"unionize" the Police. For something in his time that was not considered, not
even the most stubborn reformists dared to raise it, perhaps even to think about it.
And it is easy and simple: the Police can only produce "people" of the ilk of
West (Montevideo's police chief at the beginning of the 20th century), Campos
Hermida, and other series of infamous murderers; truly class popular
organizations produce another type of human being: a fighter, combative,
supportive, and with an eye on a new world.
That is why it is necessary to strengthen the trade union organizations and class
tendencies and groupings within them, in order to strengthen the positions of
struggle and dignity in the trade union movement. It is possible to advance
fighting, joining with other workers and other workers, being very clear about
who is the class enemy and the institutions that it uses to perpetuate its
The anarchists of FAU are in that perspective, leaning our shoulders in the
struggles and in the construction of a classist and combative trade union
movement. Only with a class policy will the unions be strengthened and will be
able to stop the repressive advance and that of the bosses.
If this line of work is deepened, consolidating class groupings in each union
with a clear work orientation, there are possibilities of strengthening the
struggle and replicating the efforts of all colleagues.
This perspective is not new, it is that of Gatti and León Duarte, that of
Washington Pérez and Trías, that of Blas Facal and Wellington Galarza, that of
Juana Rouco Buela and Virginia Bolten, and that of all the sons and daughters of
the town who have built our trade union movement, class, combat, solidarity and
with a socialist and libertarian perspective. We must continue that path.




Message: 5

Invites to a rally and march on Wednesday, March 24 at 4.30 p.m. the Class
Initiative of Motorcyclists in Trion Admirals Square and Corinth in Patras
regarding the cover-up of the murder of 23-year-old Jason in Athens, after a car
accident, but also in general about the working conditions in the motorcycle
sector. ---- As they state in their call: ---- "Dora Bakoyannis, a personal
security official vehicle outside the Parliament, hits and leaves the 23-year-old
Jason, who is left brain dead. A police man thugs and chases witnesses. In the
coming days, government and media. systematically cover up the incident.
We call on all colleagues to join the march so that the operation to cover up the
state assassination does not pass, while at the same time highlighting our claims
and defending our needs.







Message: 6

More than a quarter of those elected to the Commune come from the International
Association of Workers (the "First International"). But, their views are far from
unified, and their political impetus is not coordinated. ---- "The battle for
Paris is over.[...]But the struggle continues. An occult and collective
power[...]which today calls itself the International Association of Workers calls
more openly than ever on the proletarians of all States to take up another arms
course." ---- The plethora of anti-communal literature is characterized by this
imaginary of the plot which lends to an "occult power", necessarily foreign, the
responsibility of the insurrection. The reality is quite different. Engels noted
this paradox that the Commune was spiritually "daughter of the International
although the International did not move a finger to do so".

Weakened by several trials and major strikes in 1869-1870, the AIT was not at its
best when the war of 1870 broke out. If Parisian memberships increase after the
fall of the Empire thanks to the rallying of the Blanquists, the divisions are
exacerbated in parallel.

Among the French founders of the AIT, Tolain and Friborg departed from it in
1869, when the Basel Congress adopted collectivist principles. These "narrow
Proudhonians" then rally the party of order, and Friborg even denounces "the
crimes committed in Paris by a handful of wretches, rejects of all parties and
all social classes". But another proudhonian of the AIT, Pierre Denis, friend of
Jules Vallès, gives the decentralizing and federalist tone of the Commune in the
"Declaration to the French people" of April 19, 1871.

Against the Committee of Public Safety
In the turmoil which sees the Commune arise, the Parisian AIT is rather sluggish,
and it is more on an individual basis that its militants rally the Central
Committee of the National Guard or the Republican Central Committee of the twenty
arrondissements. But the Parisian AIT is getting back on its feet in view of the
March 26 elections to the Council of the Municipality. Its manifesto supports the
"communal revolution" which must "provide each citizen with the means to defend
their rights[...]and to determine the gradual application of social reforms".It
obtains 23 elected out of 92. Among them, Eugène Varlin, Albert Theisz or the
Hungarian Léo Frankel carry high the social aspect of the Municipality - in
particular with the decree aiming at the resumption of the vacant workshops by
workers associations.

At the beginning of May, we find the most notable elements of the AIT - except
almost all the Blanquists - in opposition to the Committee of Public Safety,
against which they defend revolutionary action without recourse to dictatorship.
Bakunin evokes their "excessively difficult situation" : "Not feeling
sufficiently supported by the great mass of the Parisian population - the
organization of the International Association, itself very imperfect, moreover,
hardly embracing a few thousands of individuals - they had to support a daily
struggle against the Jacobin majority."

While behind the scenes his fight against Bakunin was already engaged, Karl Marx
wrote in June 1871, in London, the Address of the General Council of the AIT,
passed down to posterity under the name of The Civil War in France. This
panegyric, in which Marx himself criticizes the state principle, will largely
contribute to the influence of the Commune within the international workers'

Mathieu Leonard



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