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zaterdag 31 mei 2014

België : FASCISME - EN IN BRUSSEL

Anti-Fascistisch Front / Verzet


25 mei,brussel,lootens-stael,nation25 mei,brussel,lootens-stael,nationNa de scores van het Vlaams Belang, de N-VA en andere partijen in Vlaanderen, de verliescijfers vande N-VA in de stad Antwerpen (artikeltje intussen 855 keer gedeeld op Facebook), het debacle van het Vlaams Belang, met alle verdriet en kritiek die dan bovendrijven,  en onze focus op Franstalig extreemrechts (12), besluiten we vandaag ons overzicht van de kiesresultaten met een blik op de verrichtingen voor het Brusselse parlement.

Vijf jaar geleden kon het Vlaams Belang in Brussel nog 17,5 % van de Nederlandstalige kiezers overtuigen. Dit kalfde vorige zondag af tot 5,6 % van de Nederlandstalige kiezers, ongeveer 1 % van alle Brusselse stemmen. Het Vlaams Belang verloor in Brussel meer dan twee derde van haar stemmen. Ze houdt er nog één zetel aan over. Had het Vlaams Belang in 2009 nog drie verkozenen, nu is enkel nog Dominiek Lootens-Stael (49 j., foto 1)verkozen. De gloriedagen van het Belang/Blok in de hoofdstad, met inzet van Johan Demol en bikkelharde tweetalige campagnes, zijn duidelijk passé.

Voor de verkiezingen van het Brusselse parlement wordt het Hoofdstedelijke gewest opgedeeld in acht kieskantons. De uitslagen geven een goed beeld van waar de partijen het sterkst scoren. En dat kan behoorlijk grote verschillen aan het licht brengen. De beste Vlaams Belang-score wordt opgetekend in Anderlecht waar bijna 8 % wordt gehaald. Anderlecht is ook één van de laatste gemeenten in de Brusselse regio waar het Vlaams Belang nog vertegenwoordigd is in de gemeenteraad. Na Anderlecht volgt Sint-Jans-Molenbeek waar het Vlaams Belang nog goed is voor 6,5 % van de Vlaamse stemmen.

Aan Franstalige kant viel extreemrechts vooral op door haar afwezigheid. Alleen de zware jongens van Nation voelden zich geroepen om zich in de kiesstrijd te gooien. Slechts één lijst, dat was vroeger wel even anders. Vijf jaar geleden was de lijst van het Front National (FN) in Brussel nog goed voor 1,9 % van alle Franstalige stemmen. Ook Nation, het Front Nouveau de Belg
ique (FNB) en het Front Des Bruxellois (FDB) namen toen deel aan de verkiezingen. Het resultaat was evenwel driemaal slechts 0,1 % van de stemmen.

Nation, nu alleen aan de Franstalige kant van het extreemrechtse spectrum, presenteerde een volledige lijst waarop militanten van de harde soort de dienst uitmaakten. Maar ook twee kandidaten met een uitgesproken liberale pedigree. Lijstduwer Alain Vandercam, de vroegere politiecommissaris van Schaarbeek, was ooit MR-kandidaat; Anita Piret, achtste bij de effectieve kandidaten, was eerder actief bij de Open VLD. Lijsttrekker Eddy De Smedt (49 j., foto 2) woont in Evere, Brusselse gemeente waar Nation erg actief is en bij de gemeenteraadsverkiezingen 4,5 % van de stemmen kreeg. Nog steeds een ‘clubrecord’. De kiezer met het hart op de uiterst rechtse plaats heeft zondag Nation echter allerminst gesteund. Slechts 0,3 % van het Franstalige kiespubliek stemde voor Nation. Je zou van minder in de Zenne springen. Overzicht van de Vlaams Belang- en Nation-stemmen voor het Brusselse parlement.Overzicht stemmenaantal 2009 - 2014.

De rechtse proteststem ging ook in de hoofdstad voluit in de richting van de populistische formaties Parti Populaire (1,9 %), La Droite (0,7 %) en vooral Debout Les Belges (2,3 %). Geen van deze partijen tilde zichzelf over de kiesdrempel. Al was Debout Les Belges er zeer dicht bij. Ter vergelijking: de links-radicale PTB-GO! maakt met 3,9 % van de stemmen haar entree in het hoofdstedelijke parlement met vier verkozenen. 

Extreemrechts stelt in het Hoofdstedelijke gewest absoluut niets meer voor. Meer dan drie vierde van de stemmen ging op 25 mei verloren. Rechts-populistische partijen gaan grotendeels lopen met de stemmen, maar weten die op hun beurt niet te verzilveren door elkaar de duvel aan te doen. Waardoor iedereen netjes onder de betrekkelijk lage kiesdrempel blijft hangen. Het worden ongetwijfeld vijf eenzame jaren voor de enige Vlaams Belang-verkozene.

Bron : 

Bruxelles - Brussel : D19 20 ‎Action contre les arrestations du 15/05 - Actie tegen de arrestaties van 15/05 - 2 june/juni 2014

FRANCAIS

Le 15 mai, nous manifestions contre la tenue de l’European Business Summit, où lobbyistes, chefs d’entreprise et dirigeants européens se réunissaient pour parler notamment du traité transatlantique (TTIP). La mobilisation se déroulait sans le moindre débordement, mais pour éviter que cette grand-messe du lobbysme soit dérangée par les citoyen-ne-s, la police a fermé le quartier et arrêté 302 personnes.

Il est temps que le bourgmestre de Bruxelles, Yvan Mayeur, prenne ses responsabilités !

Qui fait la loi à Bruxelles ?
- Une bande de cowboys qui agit comme bon lui semble ?
- Le bourgmestre Yvan Mayeur ?
- Ou directement les multinationales ?

A emporter avec vous :
• De quoi faire un bâillon
• Un t-shirt blanc.

NEDERLANDS

Op 15 mei betoogden wij voor de European Business Summit, waar lobbyisten, CE0 ‘s en Europese toppolitici bijeenkwamen ondermeer over de Trans-Atlantische Eenheidsmarkt (TTIP) . De manifestatie verliep vreedzaam tot het ogenblik dat de politie 302 mensen willekeurig arresteerde om te beletten dat de deelnemers van de top oog in oog zouden staan met burgers.

Het is tijd dat Burgemeester Yvan Mayeur zijn verantwoordelijkheid neemt in deze zaak.

Wie maakt de wetten in Brussel ?
- Een bende cowboys die doet wat ze wil ?
- Burgemeester Mayeur ?
- Of de CEO’s van multinationale ondernemingen zelf ?

Breng mee :
Un T-shirt blanc.
Een witte T-shirt




(en) WSM.ie: Eviction attempt defeated in Grangegorman

Wednesday 21st saw another successful defence against an eviction in Dublin. This time in 
the Stoneybatter area. We put out an alert after we were told that a gang of 3 men with 
crowbars "came this afternoon and broke in to one of the houses. About 40-50 people showed 
up outside to show support, then 5 Garda showed up. People inside resisted and argued 
until the alleged owners and Garda left the house and left the street to a large round of 
applause. ---- Everything is cool now. The street was closed off and there was lots of 
music, food, fun, and we managed to get the support of many parents and school children on 
the way home from school. ---- Generally speaking, the Garda didn't know what to do and 
there was wide public support. Small victory for now"

The men were attempting to evict and board up one of three houses on lower Grangegorman, 
which have been occupied in recent months after being left vacant for at least a decade. 
The occupiers who had earlier given us a tour of the houses showed how they had carried 
out numerous repairs in order to make the houses livable in. These three houses are 
connected a very large block of abandoned housing and industrial spacing which includes 
three large warehouses, huge concrete yards and three large office / retail spaces. With 
the increasing homelessness in Dublin and the deliberately reduced number of rental 
dwelling pushing up rent to unaffordable level for many this huge area being left in a 
state of deliberate decay and rot is indicative of the relationship between property 
speculators and the hundreds of thousands of city dwellers they prey off. There are large 
derelict areas all over Dublin city center that could house thousands if not tens of 
thousands if people occupied them and brought them back into use.

This eviction as with another attempted eviction on the south side the previous week 
failed. In large part this is down to the increased confidence and collective solidarity 
of the growing network of Dublin squatters and their supporters. We used our Facebook, 
Twitter and email notification system to spread news of the attempted eviction underway 
and this and the efforts of others, in particular the occupiers, meant that many people 
came down to support them.

Squatting has been a constant feature of Dublin live, if you are homeless and a building 
is abandoned its an obvious way of improving your situation. But in recent decades 
because of state repression and the use of hired thugs in informal violent evictions it 
has tended to be quite hidden. People have occupied building quietly and then abandoned 
them once discovered, being forced to move on frequently meaning little stability but also 
limiting the sort of repairs that it makes sense to carry out on abandoned buildings. In 
many European cities where squatters can acquire certain rights buildings are often 
brought back into full functionality. But in Ireland squatters, much like tenants, have 
little in the way of rights, all rights go to property speculators.

After having successfully resisted the eviction another squatter gave us a more detailed 
account of what had gone down
"At 12:45, we noticed three people trying to break into one of the three houses in 
Grangegorman. There was one person outside, and two inside, who had climbed through an 
open window. They had crowbars and hammers and were trying to get the front door open. We 
blocked the people inside from coming any further into the house than they already were, 
and tried to get the word out to as many people as possible to come down. We had people 
inside and outside. After they got the front door open, one of them tried to board up one 
of the windows with metal bars from the outside, but we stopped him. Somebody then 
U-locked the metal bars he wanted to put on the window to the fence.

Eventually, long after we had got loads of people down, the cops showed up. They came into 
the house. First they talked to us. There was a half-hearted argument about whether we 
were allowed to film them or not, but they dropped that pretty quickly. They wanted to 
talk to just one of us alone, but we refused to be individuated. We told them that we were 
the owners because we had possession of the building, which is a form of title (albeit a 
weak one).

We explained that the "owners" had no documentation of having any form of title, and that 
they had just broken into our house, and that we have video evidence of that. And even if 
they did have a stronger form of title (e.g., a freehold), that doesn't necessarily give 
them the right to immediate possession, and such a question is a matter for a civil court 
to decide by an order of possession.

The cops then asked for our names, but we told them that we weren't going to give them our 
names unless they had reasonable suspicion that we'd committed an offence, which they 
didn't. The cops then talked to the "owners". I don't know what exactly they said, but 
they all left after about five minutes; the cops and the "owners". One of the heavies 
stayed afterwards, and so did all of us.

We hung out in the sun and played music, and we nicknamed their heavy "Johnny Crowbar". A 
song was even written about him, and it went like this:

Not today, Johnny Crowbar, not today,
You say that we're all homeless, we say "ain't no fuckin' way"!
Well get the fuck up out my home, Johnny Crowbar,
Ain't nothin' you can do, we're here to stay

So not today, Johnny Crowbar, not today,
You say you're here to work, but we're stayin' here to play!
Go away, Johnny Crowbar, go away,
Or quit your job and just hang out, you'd be better off that way"

For some background you could do worse than listen to the Housing Action meeting recorded 
at this years Dublin Anarchist Bookfair. It's at 
http://www.mixcloud.com/workerssolidarity/dublin-housing-action-past-present-and-future-anarchist-bookfair-2014-audio/

WORDS Andrew Flood

(en) WSM.ie: Dub: Catastrophism: The Apocalyptic Politics of Collapse and Rebirth - discussion with author James Davis

James Davis is visiting Dublin and will be giving a talk for the WSM on the topic of 
Catastrophism in Seomra Spraoi (10 Belvedere Court) at 20.00 on Weds June 25th. ---- We 
live in catastrophic times. The world is reeling from the deepest economic crisis since 
the Great Depression, with the threat of further meltdowns ever-looming. Global warming 
and myriad dire ecological disasters worsen?with little if any action to halt them?their 
effects rippling across the planet in the shape of almost Biblical floods, fires, 
droughts, and hurricanes. Governments warn that there is no alternative to the bitter 
medicine they prescribe?or risk devastating financial or social collapse. The right, 
whether religious or secular, views the present as catastrophic and wants to turn the 
clock back. The left fears for the worst, but hopes some good will emerge from the rubble. 
Visions of the apocalypse and predictions of impending doom abound. Across the political 
spectrum, a culture of fear reigns.?

Catastrophism explores the politics of apocalypse?on the left and right, in the 
environmental movement?and examines why the lens of catastrophe can distort our 
understanding of the dynamics at the heart of these numerous disasters?and fatally impede 
our ability to transform the world. Lilley, McNally, Yuen, and Davis probe the reasons why 
catastrophic thinking is so prevalent, and challenge the belief that it is only out of the 
ashes that a better society may be born. The authors argue that those who care about 
social justice and the environment should jettison doomsaying?even as it relates to 
indisputably apocalyptic climate change. Far from calling people to arms, they suggest, 
catastrophic fear often results in passivity and paralysis?and, at worst, reactionary 
politics.?

James is an Irish a writer and film maker living in the Berkeley, CA. He is a Retort 
Collective participant and co-author of Catastrophism: The Apocalyptic politics of 
Collapse and Rebirth. He is also the director of 'Meeting Room', the documentary about the 
Concerned Parents Against Drugs movement.

One review of Catastrophism describes how it "offers a superb and needed critical overview 
of current tendencies toward an aestheticizing politics of doom. Evolving out of 
discussions catalyzed by Iain Boal and the Retort collective, these essays by Lilley, 
McNally, Yuen and Davis survey and analyze the traps and delusions involved when 
catastrophe scenarios are deployed as a mobilizing political figure. Clearly, we need to 
understand these pitfalls, for as Yuen observes, our moment ?is saturated with 
instrumental, spurious, and sometimes maniacal versions of catastrophism ? including 
right-wing racial paranoia, religious millenarianism, liberal panics over fascism, leftist 
fetishization of capitalist collapse, capitalist invocation of the ?shock doctrine,? and 
pop culture clich??.

Davis scrutinizes the political right, finding a broad willingness to view the gains and 
remnants of leftist social movements of the past as unmitigated disaster; this ?disease 
catastrophism? is linked to a potentially violent ?cure catastrophism? that welcomes 
apocalypse as the remedy. expressions of a history of rebellion and resistance from below."

If you are on Facebook please RSVP to the event notice

Event date and time:
Wed, 2014-06-25 20:00 - 21:30

(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #239 - Egypt: Power trapped (fr, pt)

General al-Sisi, a former army chief and presidential candidate of the 26 and 27 May next, 
must grapple with the country's economic problems as with infighting in the circles of 
power. ---- Abdel Fattah al-Sisi seems to be a victim of its success. He who, in July, 
seemed to hold power and popularity "supernatural" supported by a ferocious media machine 
that consumes everything in its path, is now trapped in his post the strongest man in 
Egypt. It is ironic to see him drown in the same defects as those that toppled President: 
Empty and populist, measures to capture the actual and legal authority in Egypt (while 
having put Adli Mansour as malleable puppet the head of state), etc.. ---- Likewise, the 
socio-economic problems which it relied to bring down the government of the Muslim 
Brotherhood is not a solution: power cuts are back at the same rate at the time of the 
Muslim Brotherhood, the geopolitical crisis after the construction of the dam by Ethiopia 
Annahda1 ("renaissance") on the Nile is not resolution, the prices of necessities are 
rising, not to mention the crisis in the important area of the economy is tourism.

Crisis of the ruling class

Hesitation al-Sissi apply for the upcoming presidential elections is due only to refusal 
of the old guard of the army to see his child prodigy, who rose quickly through the ranks 
to take power. The current crisis in the power of al-Sissi is the crisis of the entire 
Egyptian ruling class, both civil and military, and internal conflict. Populist discourse 
of this ruling class, a sort of remake of the Nasser years, can not conceal the class war 
it waged against workers when they went on strike, with use of the army.

When al-Sissi asks the people to sacrifice on the altar of austerity, it replenishes the 
coffers of the terrible Ministry of the Interior. Adding to that the second kind of 
economic predator Egyptian military institution seems to take precedence over its 
"constitutional" activities and the army wants to take every corner of the economy by 
expanding its grip on public companies, which is not without its problems with capitalism 
"civil" and especially libertarian financial circles close to Mubarak, especially as they 
have contributed to finance and organize the coup of the army last June. Indeed, these 
circles want to regain their position before the revolution of January 2011, when they 
shared power with the army, and they do no intention of simply place the army deign their 
give.

Maybe the hollow nationalism tinged speech al-Sissi will illusion longer than the equally 
hollow and stained religiosity Morsi speech period, but al-Sissi will not be spared by a 
popular uprising, as he begins to say that he must sacrifice one or even two generations 
that Egypt can live in opulence. The people who rose up to say "Down with the power of the 
military" can not accept this contempt. One can easily imagine that this slogan still 
resound in the streets of Egypt against al-Sissi in turn.

Yasser Abdelkawy (Libertarian Socialist Movement, Egypt)

Translated from Arabic by Marouane Taharouri

(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL - With the Zapatista people murdered for Galeano (fr, pt)

On May 2, a paramilitary group attacked the Caracol of La Realidad, one of the hearts of 
the Zapatista organization, killing Galeano companion. Libertarian alternative reaffirms 
its support for the liberation struggle led by the Zapatistas in Chiapas (Mexico). ---- 
Even as we celebrate worldwide the 20th anniversary of the Zapatista uprising, even though 
- and precisely for this reason - communities just opening a single trade area of its 
kind, the Escuelita, which received nearly 6,000 international sympathizers are in view to 
sharing the experience of struggle and construction of Zapatista autonomy, even though the 
Zapatista struggle is experiencing a new twist on 2 May the paramilitary group referred to 
as CIOAC attack of the Caracol of La Realidad, a decision centers and Zapatista organization.

Truth and justice Galeano

While the Good Government Council of La Realidad had called a meeting to try to appease 
with existing members CIOAC tensions, paramilitaries took the opportunity to sack the 
independent school and clinic caracol. They then ambushed a group of people returning from 
work outside of La Realidad and attacked them with machetes and guns. The Galeano 
companion Votan and professor Escuelita, including left life, murdered.

This attack is the culmination of weeks of tension caused by the paramilitary group, but 
also years of intimidation and aggression that, if committed by paramilitary groups are 
planned and organized by the ruling parties in especially the PRI but the PAN and the 
environmentalist Green Party serving capitalist interests of large landowners and 
multinational corporations.

All our thoughts are with the family of Galeano and his community, and the Zapatista 
movement it is imperative to support the face of this aggression that marks a new phase of 
crackdown. This attack is indicative of the will of the Mexican government to end front to 
experience autonomy. Es aware of the seriousness of the situation, the Zapatistas decided 
to appeal to the EZLN (Zapatista National Liberation Army) to defend themselves against 
this policy of terror worthy of strategies deployed during the massacre of Acteal 
committed by paramilitaries in 1997. This decision under duress augurs a very hard period 
for Chiapas resistance.

We denounce the Mexican government, the ruling parties and the capitalists who crush the 
struggles for autonomy of peoples and call to support the Zapatista movement in the 
construction of "a world where many worlds are possible".

Libertarian Alternative affirms its unconditional support to the Zapatista people and all 
peoples struggling for their emancipation, their dignity, their freedom.

Around the world, governments, armed arm of the capitalists, repress people and people who 
do not want to be led by a deadly neoliberalism.

Against all forms of oppression that generate States and capitalism, International Solidarity!

Libertarian Alternative adheres to the Sexta[1]

The EZLN and the Zapatista movement have shown over the past few decades that there was no 
fatality in this world dominated by neoliberalism, injustice and governments to boot 
capitalists. Even the poorest, most forgotten-es, can stand and shout Ya Basta! Enough! 
And choose another way, based on justice, democracy, dignity, solidarity, equality.

What has been successful in building the Zapatistas since the creation of the EZLN is a 
source of optimism and inspiration to all those and all those who struggle for a better 
world. Political, social, cultural, are not the same in France and in Chiapas, and do not 
require the same answers, but a common desire must animate us, as everywhere on this 
planet regain control of our lives. And in this respect there, the Zapatistas are an example.

Libertarian Alternative long struggle against all forms of oppression: capitalism, state, 
patriarchal, racist. We participate to the extent of our abilities to social movements and 
struggles in our workplaces, and disseminate our ideas as much as possible to create a 
libertarian communist society free from all forms of domination.

Since the Zapatista uprising, we have followed with interest the development of solidarity 
and the struggle, and have aired in the pages of our newspaper. But we never formalized 
our solidarity, nor have participated in meetings and activities organized by the 
Zapatistas and solidarity movements. Unfortunately, it is difficult to engage on all 
fronts. But today, that economic, social and ecological consequences of neoliberalism are 
more dramatic and irreversible, it seems important to participate in the new dynamics that 
the Zapatistas are trying to drive. That is why we decided to join the Sexta Declaraci?n 
of the Lacandon Jungle .

In recent months, the 20th anniversary of the uprising, we participated in different 
cities of France in solidarity activities in common with other groups and collectives 
support the Zapatistas, with public debates, meals solidarity and participation in rallies 
in support. With these collectives, we try somehow to make our aid. And we want to spread 
the Zapatista struggle and demands for autonomy of the indigenous peoples of Chiapas and 
elsewhere, and require the application of the San Andres, the release of political 
prisoners and the end of military harassment and political violence which are too often 
victims peoples of Chiapas and the rest of Mexico.

Waiting for the opportunity to meet our fellow Zapatistas and Sexta, we remain attentive 
to the evolution of the situation in the Zapatista communities, and continue to mobilize 
in solidarity.

Libertarian Alternative, May 26, 2014

[1] Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, launching the Other Campaign, calling for 
the exchange and solidarity between struggles

(en) Britain, AFED Organise! #81 - Beyond Perfection: - What we can learn from science fiction anarchist utopias

One of the major criticisms levelled at anarchism as a political philosophy is that it is 
utopian. Many would argue that this is a misunderstanding of anarchism, that the basis for 
an anarchist society does not rely on naivety, impracticality or a simplistic and overly 
positive view of humanity. I want to argue that this is a misunderstanding of utopianism. 
Of course anarchism is utopian. Anybody who thinks their own ideology is not utopian 
either hasn?t thought it through properly or, for some reason, wants to live in a society 
that?s doomed to inequality, misery and eventual self-destruction. And anybody who thinks 
utopianism is simplistic, impractical or naive clearly hasn?t read enough utopian fiction. 
There are a plethora of distant worlds that can boast anarchist societies as complex, as 
pragmatic, as inspired and inspiring, as troubled and as troubling as any historical or 
contemporary earth-bound revolution, and they all have utopian characteristics.

Then again, those critics may have a
point when it comes to some of the
19th Century utopias (e.g. William
Morris? News from Nowhere, H.G.
Wells? A Modern Utopia, Edward
Bellamy?s Looking Backward), but
as a science fiction reader I have a
greater criticism to level against these
than their naivety or even their comi-
cally dire gender politics: they?re
really dull stories. Which isn?t to
say they aren?t interesting utopias.
As portraits of the utopian ideals of
anarchists and socialists of the time,
they?re a fascinating insight, and
there?s plenty that?s still relevant in
their lengthy and technical explana-
tions of the organisation of labour
and property. But in terms of plot,
character and a sense of place with
more depth and veracity than the
stage set for a school pantomime,
they pretty much fail. Take News
from Nowhere, the most anarchist of
these early utopias: it?s a guided tour
of a pre-industrial pastoral idyll, with
no nations or borders, no heavy in-
dustry or money, all produce shared
freely, all objects beautiful and
practical works of artisanship, where
the words ?work? and ?play? mean
much the same thing. Fair enough,
as holiday brochures go. I?m sold on
the week?s stay, but if I?m looking to
take up residence in a utopia I gener-
ally want to dig a bit deeper and cast
a more cynical eye. I might ask ques-
tions like: ?What happens if the har-
vest fails??, ?What if a natural disaster
requires the speedy need for mass-
produced tools and shelters?? and
?If child-rearing and home-making
are such highly respected, reward-
ing professions, haven?t any of these
sexually free and socially emancipat-
ed women ever wondered why there
aren?t any men doing them?? There?s
something about those unflappably
amiable, instant responses the tour
guide has to all the protagonist?s
questions that suggests a script, or at
least a party line, recited by rote and
possibly under threat. You want the
protagonist to, just once, say some-
thing like: ?I don?t buy it, beardy. It?s
too perfect, and the ?work is play?
crap sounds distinctly Orwellian to
me. Put down the exquisitely carved
pipe and tell me where they?re hiding
the gulags.?

This might be a little unfair. News
from Nowhere was written to explain
how an anarchist society can be pro-
ductive and stable in the conditions
of the time and place it was written,
not to explore its responses when
faced with environmental crisis or
massive social change. But you?ve
got to admit, answering those ques-
tions would make it a much more
interesting novel. The utopias that
really capture our imaginations are
those that are less concerned with
the solutions an anarchist society
can offer than the problems it might
face.

If you?re wondering whether a story
exploring problems within an anar-
chist society is really a utopia, let?s
do definitions. The word ?Utopia?,
coined by Thomas More, comes
from a pun on the Greek for ?no
place? and ?good place?. So really,
the essential qualities of a utopia are
just that there?s something desir-
able about the society, and that it
doesn?t exist. Anybody who thinks
that establishing a better society will
instantly bring blissful contentment
to all is destined to spend the revolu-
tion forcibly re-educating dissenters
(and until then, they?ll probably be
selling you The Socialist Worker). A
utopia doesn?t have to be a flawless
place, where day to day problems
are entirely eliminated. It?s about
demonstrating an alternative and
preferable way of living. You can do
that with a guided tour of a perfect
society, but it?s more interesting
and more persuasive to show how
that society deals with imperfection
and conflict, both from within and
without.

Iain M. Banks sets his Culture novels
in a context that gives his advanced
anarchist society something to kick
against, namely a universe full of
distinctly less utopian societies. The
Culture is post-scarcity, high-tech,
wish-fulfilment utopianism at its
most decadent. Resources are near
infinite, labour is unnecessary, and
infallible sentient computers (the
Minds) with a wry sense of humour
and impeccable ethical judgement
ensure the smooth running of all en-
vironments. The enhanced human-
oid residents of The Culture?s many
worlds have nothing to fill their
near-immortal existences except
for games, sex, drugs, the pursuit of
intellectual and creative fulfilment,
and interference in the development
of other societies. This last is the job
of an organisation known as Contact,
a popular career choice with those
who remain strangely unsatisfied by
the literally limitless opportunities
The Culture has to offer, and take to
the stars to see and ultimately save
less fortunate worlds. These are
the most interesting characters, as
their stories tell us most about The
Culture itself, and about our own
ambivalence towards utopianism.
We fear and mistrust perfection even
as we strive for it, because it will ulti-
mately leave us with nothing to strive
for, no jeopardy to brave, no cause
to defend, no meaning to our exist-
ence. The Culture, like Nowhere, is
a static society, but unlike Morris?
utopia it isn?t merely holding itself
in place with a distaste for further
development, it has reached the peak
of its possibilities ? of all possibili-
ties ? and has nowhere to go. This is
the problem that leads to the restless-
ness of those who join Contact, and
who then struggle with the ethical
dilemma of what they do, of whether
the worlds they visit even want to be
saved, of whether they are, in fact,
saving them or dooming them to
their own state of existential stasis. It
would all be quite angsty if it weren?t
for the humour of the Minds, who
inhabit armed spaceships that can be
as large as planets and give them-
selves names like Prosthetic Con-
science, Of Course I Still Love You,
You?ll Thank Me Later, Jaundiced
Outlook, Frank Exchange Of Views,
Honest Mistake, Zero Gravitas and
God Told Me To Do It.

Don?t be fooled by the presence of
warships and conflict into thinking
this is a trick utopia. There are no
false walls here, and the Minds are
not secretly megalomaniacal control-
lers who keep humanity enslaved in
luxury for their own ends. They are,
themselves, complex and sympathet-
ic (if somewhat ineffable) characters,
as caught up in the ethical dilem-
mas of utopian life as their human
companions. While some of them
can be manipulative, they seem to be
genuinely trying not to be, though
they?re so much more intelligent and
aware of action and consequence
than their organic friends they can
hardly help it. The point of this anar-
chist utopia is not that there?s some
ignored power relation at work that
compromises its integrity, or even
that you can have too much of a good
thing. It?s a more subtle and complex
message about inertia and entropy,
of the nature of power and privilege,
and the need for change and devel-
opment, personal and societal, even
in the face of seeming perfection.

At the other end of the scale is
Anarres, a scarcity society set on
a near-desert moon in Ursula Le
Guin?s universe of the Ekumen. It
is most fully explored in The Dis-
possessed, which is subtitled ?An
Ambiguous Utopia?. Anarres is
neither the simple idyll of Morris?
Nowhere nor the paradise of Banks?
Culture. An isolated community,
self-exiled from its capitalist neigh-
bour Urras, the Anarresti have built
their utopia in far from ideal condi-
tions. This anarchist society suf-
fers famines, labour shortages and
social upheavals, and has plenty of
technological development still to
strive for. Because we see Shevek
both growing up on Anarres and
explaining his homeworld to those
he meets on Urras, there are some
good, clear demonstrations of how
labour, property, security, family and
institutional decision-making work
in a world without money or leaders.

There are easy parallels to draw with
our own world?s revolutions and the
founding of Anarres, which reflects
the society many Russian revolution-
aries envisaged, and might have built
if they weren?t trapped in the context
of a capitalist economy. Even the
language and names sound a little
bit Russian. It?s a great utopia for
showing how anarchism can build a
society as stable as any other system,
but also how isolation and ideologi-
cal orthodoxy breed stagnation, and
the importance of revolution as a
social value, not a one-off event or a
means to an end.

For all these reasons, The Dispos-
sessed tends to be the go-to utopian
novel for anarchists trying to explain
to the cynical how a society without
money or authority could actually
work. We see a society in which
children are taught from the earliest
age that they can?t keep possessions
to themselves (though there?s little
for them to keep) but are free to do
as they choose (and there?s much for
them to do.) They learn together
through play and discussion, and
education continues into adulthood
through self-directed research. Work
is not compulsory and resources are
not rationed, but contribution to the
community and distaste for excessive
consumption are strong social values.
Personal freedom and social duty
exist in a balance that is, for the most
part, healthy, rational and fulfilling,
but this can change with a bad har-
vest. The story follows Shevek?s ca-
reer as a physicist whose momentous
discovery could affect all the known
worlds of the Ekumen. His desire to
follow anarchist principles, to avoid
propertarianism and unbuild walls,
leads him to Urras, which looks a lot
like contemporary western democ-
racy (except for those countries that
look a lot like contemporary state
communism). On Anarres, Shevek
battles environmental and social
upheavals, informal power structures
and the appropriation and censor-
ship of ideas, and yet the anarchist
society still manages to come out
favourably in comparison with Ur-
ras, in which the power structures
are even less clear to Shevek, and a
great deal more dangerous. Protest
and defiance of convention meets
with violence on both worlds, but
ultimately both have the possibility
of revolution, of growth and change,
and hope for the future.

Nobody does alternative societies
better than Le Guin, and she has
created a few besides Anarres that
could be viewed as ambiguously
anarchist, and more ambiguously
utopian. They tend to get less atten-
tion than Anarres, probably because
they?re less useful for anarchists hav-
ing arguments. They?re interesting,
though, for more subtle discussions
of anarchist society and utopianism,
ones that explore not the society
that anarchists would necessarily
wish to build but the many varieties
of anarchist society that are possi-
ble, the many ways in which human
societies could reject hierarchy. One
of the most acclaimed is Always
Coming Home, but though there is
no particular hierarchy of individu-
als in the societies of the Kesh, there
are a great many customs that dictate
social status of various kinds, and
the reliance on the spiritual and the
rejection of technology (aside from
some sort of internet that they don?t
use much) sends it into a static state.
In this way it would resemble News
from Nowhere if it weren?t for its
much more sophisticated investiga-
tion of cultural differences and in-
teractions, and its acknowledgement
of various forms of conflict, both
personal and societal.

More unusual, and less frequently
explored, is the world of Eleven-Soro
in the short story Solitude, a world
in which a post-cataclysm society
has developed social arrangements
that go to extreme lengths to guard
against the mistakes of the past. Any
exercise of power by one person
over another is taboo, referred to as
?magic?. This includes any attempt to
manipulate another?s behaviour, to
make them feel guilty or duty-bound
to follow a course of action for
another?s sake. The men live alone
and the women in circles of houses
known as ?auntrings?, where they
educate each other?s children but do
not enter one another?s homes and
rarely speak to other adult women
without good cause, in what seems to
be the ultimate expression of anar-
chist individualism. Nobody asks for
or offers help with any task, though
women are watchful of one another?s
health, send their children with food
to the sick and assist each other in
childbirth. Only children can ask
questions or be taught anything.
No adult tells another what to do,
or even offers advice except in the
most roundabout of ways and the
direst of circumstances. Looked at
as a society, Eleven-Soro is brutally
dystopian (especially for men), but
individuals within it can find a kind
of utopia that is achieved through
the fulfilment of total self-awareness,
becoming ?a self sufficient to itself ?,
and in many ways the lives of the
Sorovians are rich and happy beyond
imagining. It is a strange, sad, beauti-
ful story that consistently challenges
gut responses and judgements on the
nature of power and community. I
highly recommend giving it a read,
not as a model for an anarchist soci-
ety but as a challenge to some of our
ideas on interpersonal relationships
and social duty.

So which of these societies, if any,
comes closest to what we as anarcho-
communists aim for? For me, any
society claiming utopian status has
to be convincingly resilient; show
that it?s not going to crumble at the
first sign of change or challenge;
that its systems are robust enough
to undergo cultural, ecological and
technological developments without
compromising its ideological foun-
dation. Static societies are neither
believable nor desirable. Who wants
to live in a world where nothing ever
changes?

This is the mistake many make about
utopianism and about revolution.
They think it means embodying an
ideal within society and then try-
ing to hold back the tide of human
fallibility and outside influence to
preserve that moment of perfection.
No wonder so many people think it?s
a completely unrealistic perspective.
That kind of utopianism is not what
we strive for, either in life or science
fiction. I read utopias and work
towards anarchist communism not
because I believe in a perfect world
but because I believe in a better
world. The most inspiring and per-
suasive utopias are the ones that, like
Anarres, don?t just ask, ?Where do
we want to be?? or even ?How will
be get there?? but ?Where will we go
next?? That?s something important
for science fiction writers and activ-
ists alike to remember. Revolution
is not an event but a process, and
utopia is a journey, not a destination.

Ireland : Workers Solidarity Movement (Ireland) - Solidarity to Aer Lingus workers who are today striking to improve their working conditions

We are extending our solidarity to Aer Lingus workers who are today striking against to 
improve their working conditions. In an age when capitalism seems determined to make fewer 
people work more hours for less pay its essential workers fight back not only against this 
practise but against the 'live to work' ideology that underpins it.
We are not our jobs, we have a right to rich rewarding lives that are not dominated by the 
endless grind of work stress. It's great to see over 900 workers taking action today in 
Dublin, Cork and Shannon to say enough! ---- The workers union IMPACT has just released 
the accompanying photo of workers protesting at the HQ and the letter they delivered to 
Aer Lingus CEO Christophe Mueller. ---- "Dear Mr Mueller, ---- It is with considerable 
regret that our members are engaged in industrial action today.

Every member of cabin crew is proud to be a brand ambassador for this airline, proud to 
wear the Aer Lingus uniform, and proud of the reputation for excellent service that Aer 
Lingus cabin crew have built up in the course of eight decades of serving the travelling 
public.

Today, we?re engaged in this industrial action because our experience has been that our 
employer won?t listen to us. For three years we have raised concerns about the erratic 
nature of our rosters. We have become accustomed to the chaotic work patterns that are a 
direct product of those rosters, to the point where we understand the detrimental effect 
they are having on cabin crew, and the corrosive effect that they are having on the 
airline too.

What we want to do is talk to our employer about how things can be improved; how we can 
apply a fixed roster pattern that will deliver the high level of productivity, set by 
Greenfield, without affecting the airline?s cost base.

The fixed roster pattern we?re proposing will also allow for cabin crew to keep within the 
EU regulations on duty and block hours, without any necessity for standing crew down for 
long periods when those limits are reached. We?re proposing a system that is more 
efficient, better planned, more productive, and ultimately much better for crew who can 
achieve adequate recovery time between their blocks of duty.

These aren?t outrageous demands, nor are they unreasonable. These are demands that reflect 
a desire to improve how the company operates, based on the cumulative experience of the 
1,200 dedicated men and women employed as cabin crew by Aer Lingus.

That we?re engaged in a stoppage today is a product of frustration that our proposals have 
been dismissed at every opportunity. We want nothing more than to engage in a constructive 
dialogue that can solve the problems with the roster. We?ve seen the approach work for our 
pilot colleagues, and we?re asking that the progress they?ve achieved be considered as a 
model for positive change in how our work is organised."

World : Top Stories from LGBTQ Nation for 05/30/2014‏

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In the 05/30/2014 edition:

Colo. civil rights panel: Baker must make cakes for same-sex ceremonies

May 30, 2014 11:00 am
Jack PhillipsDENVER -- Colorado's Civil Rights Commission on Friday ordered a baker to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples, finding his religious objections to the practice did not trump the state's anti-discrimination statutes.
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share on Twitter Like Colo. civil rights panel: Baker must make cakes for same-sex ceremonies on Facebook

Medicare coverage ban on gender reassignment surgery lifted

May 30, 2014 10:30 am
HHS-sealSAN FRANCISCO — Transgender people receiving Medicare may no longer be automatically denied coverage for gender reassignment surgeries, a U.S. Department of Health and Services review board ruled Friday in a groundbreaking decision that recognizes the procedures as a medically necessary and effective treatment for individuals who do not identify with their biological sex.
Read in browser »
share on Twitter Like Medicare coverage ban on gender reassignment surgery lifted on Facebook

National Park Service announces effort to mark historic LGBT sites

May 30, 2014 09:45 am
A man passes The Stonewall Inn, in New York's Greenwich Village, Thursday, May 29, 2014. The National Park Service is launching an initiative to make places and people of significance to the history of LGBT Americans part of the national narrative.The U.S. National Park Service will begin marking places of significance to the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced Friday at the Stonewall Inn, scene of the 1969 riots widely credited with starting the modern gay rights movement.
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share on Twitter Like National Park Service announces effort to mark historic LGBT sites on Facebook

Chris Kluwe named Grand Marshall at Capital Pride

May 30, 2014 09:25 am
Chris KluweFormer Minnesota Vikings Punter and LGBT ally Chris Kluwe will serve as Grand Marshall of this year's Capital Pride parade in Washington D.C. This year’s theme is “Building our bright future.”
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share on Twitter Like Chris Kluwe named Grand Marshall at Capital Pride on Facebook

Fla. attorney general: Same-sex marriage would ‘impose significant public harm’

May 30, 2014 08:30 am
Attorney General Pam Bondi (R-Fla.)TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The attorney general of Florida says in court documents that recognizing same sex marriages performed in other states would disrupt existing marriage laws and "impose significant public harm."
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Recent Articles:

Americans’ Views on Origins of Homosexuality Remain Split - Most say being gay or lesbian starts at birth
Janet Porter warns of Disney World’s Gay Day’s ‘public displays of perversion’
George Michael ‘resting’ after hospital stay for undisclosed ailment
Neil Patrick Harris, Alan Cumming to perform at Tony Awards
ACLU asks judge to order Michigan to recognize same-sex marriages

Australia Canberra : it's happening Monday‏

Dear ,
Monday! We're taking the explosive outrage about the government's latest Budget – funding groups that include anti-gay chaplains – and delivering our petition straight to Parliament. Will you join us?
When: Monday, 2 June, 5pm
Where: Front Lawns, Parliament House, Canberra
The more of us out front of Parliament, together, the more we could show every kid across Australia that we’re with them fighting for safe and fair schools. All the headlines, the noise, the social media posts, build up to huge pressure on our politicians to do the right thing.
By taking this petition to Parliament, we are putting the Minister for Education on notice. The Budget needs to change. Qualified counselors shouldn't be losing their jobs while lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender kids could be counseled by an untrained volunteer who believes that being gay is a sin.
Will you be there on Monday? Click here to RSVP on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1620350368191155
In August we delivered a petition to the Olympic Committee demanding that they change the rules of the Olympics to prevent them from being held by an anti-gay country, like Russia, again. And we won. The Olympic Committee is reviewing their own rules right now. Dozens of people who had signed the petition turned up – and we even made an amazing video of all of us together.
Will you join us in Canberra on Monday?
Thanks for going All Out,
Hayley, on behalf of the rest of the team at All Out.
PS. If you’re not in Canberra, there’s still something you can do. This is our last chance to show how many of us are taking a stand against this Budget. We’ll be adding more names up to the very last minute before we hand it over to politicians. Will you share the petition on Facebook with your friends and family now?
Facebook
Support All Out
We don't take money from governments or corporations, so the only people we have to listen to are our members. Our tiny team stretches every contribution to make them count.
Donate

Europe : Sharp rise in EU migrant numbers‏

FYI
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27628416

Best,
k

URGENT :Belgique - België :[Alliance D19-20] 02/06/2014 (F-NL-D ENG tekst ) Action contre les arrestations du 15/05 - Actie tegen de arrestaties van 15/05

logowhite2000x2000
FRANCAIS

Lundi 2 juin : action symbolique contre la répression de la manifestation du 15 mai
17h45, cour de l’Hôtel de ville, 1000 Bruxelles

Le 15 mai, nous manifestions contre la tenue de l’European Business Summit, où lobbyistes, chefs d’entreprise et dirigeants européens se réunissaient pour parler notamment du traité transatlantique (TTIP). La mobilisation se déroulait sans le moindre débordement, mais pour éviter que cette grand-messe du lobbysme soit dérangée par les citoyen-ne-s, la police a fermé le quartier et  arrêté 302 personnes.

Il est temps que le bourgmestre de Bruxelles, Yvan Mayeur, prenne ses responsabilités !

Qui fait la loi à Bruxelles ?
- Une bande de cowboys qui agit comme bon lui semble ?
- Le bourgmestre Yvan Mayeur ?
- Ou directement les multinationales ?

A emporter avec vous :
·         De quoi faire un bâillon
·         Un t-shirt blanc.


23 juin : AG de l’Alliance D1920 : comment combattre le TTIP ?
18h30 à la CGSP, rue du Congrès, 17-19, 1000 Bruxelles

Il s’agira d’une AG dédiée à l’ouverture, c’est donc l’occasion d’y amener vos connaissances.

Découvrez la carte blanche signée notamment par l’Alliance D19-20 :



NEDERLANDS

2 juni : symbolische actie tegen het politiegeweld op de manifestatie van 15 mei
17u45, binnenkoer  van het Stadhuis, 1000 Brussel

Op 15 mei betoogden wij voor de European Business Summit, waar lobbyisten, CE0 ‘s en Europese toppolitici bijeenkwamen  ondermeer over de Trans-Atlantische Eenheidsmarkt (TTIP) . De manifestatie verliep vreedzaam tot het ogenblik dat de politie 302 mensen willekeurig arresteerde om te beletten dat de deelnemers van de top oog in oog zouden staan met burgers.

Het is tijd dat Burgemeester Yvan Mayeur zijn verantwoordelijkheid neemt  in deze zaak.

Wie maakt de wetten in Brussel ?
- Een bende cowboys die doet wat ze wil ?
- Burgemeester Mayeur ?
- Of de CEO’s van multinationale ondernemingen zelf ?

Breng mee :
Un T-shirt blanc.
Een witte T-shirt


23 juni : Algemene Vergadering Alliantie D19-20 : hoe krijgen we TTIP weg ?
18u30 in het ACOD-Brussel, Congresstraat 17-19, 1000 Brussel

Deze Algemene Vergadering staat open voor iedereen. Breng zo veel mogelijk mensen mee !

Hier ook de link naar een opiniestuk van D19-20 :


DEUTSCH


Am 2 juni : Symbolische Aktion gegen die Unterdrückung der 15 Mei Demonstration
17u45, Innenhof des Rathaus, Grand Place , 1000 Brüssel

Am 15 mei demonstrierten wir gegen den l’European Business Summit wo lobbyisten, unternehmer und europaische politiker über unsere zukunft diskutierten aber vor allen über denn TTIP-TAFTA sprachen. Die demo verlief friedlich bis dass die polizei die ganze umgebung des Egmont Palast in einer Kampfzone verwandelte damit diese grossmesse des lobbying nicht durch gemeine Bürger gestört wird.

Es wird Zeit  das der Bürgermeister Yvan Mayeur Verantwortung nimmt.

Wer regiert in Brüssel?
-Eine Bande Cowboys?
-Der Bürgermeister Yvan Mayeur?
-Oder die Multinationals?

Was sie mitnehmen müssen:
·         Etwas um einen Knebel zu machen
·         Ein weisses T-shirt


23 juni : AV der Allianz D 1920
18u30 CGSP-ACOD, Congrès str. 17-19, 1000 Brüssel

Das Thema ist „ Öffnung“, bringt interessierte bekannte. 

Entdecken sie hier unsere Kolumne die Allianz D 1920 auch unterzeichnet hat.




ENGLISH


2nd June: symbolic direct action against the repression of 15th May demonstration
17:45, court of the Hôtel de ville, 1000 Brussels

On 15th May we were in the streets of Brussels peacefully demonstrating against the European Business Summit, where lobbyists, big business CEOs and European political leaders were meeting to discuss the EU-US free trade agreement (TTIP). The demonstration took place without any violence, but to ensure the great lobbying jamboree was not disturbed by concerned citizens, the police shut the neighborhood down and arrested 302 people.

It is time the Mayor of Brussels, Yvan Mayeur, takes responsibility!
It is time the Mayor of Brussels, Yvan Mayeur, takes responsibility!

Who makes the laws in Brussels?
- A bunch of cowboys acting as they see fit?
- The Mayor of Brussels, Yvan Mayeur?
- Or multinational corporations directly?

To bring with you on 2nd June:
Something to make a gag from
A white t-shirt


23 June: Open General Assembly of the D19-20 Alliance - how can we fight the TTIP?
18:30 at CGSP, Rue du Congrès, 17-19, 1000 Brussels

It will be a general assembly open to all - not just D19-20 members - so this is the opportunity to bring friends and acquaintances.

Read the open letter against the police repression in Brussels, signed by many including the D19-20 alliance:


© Collectif Krasnyi