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Left Archive: Freedom Anarchist Weekly, April 1, 1972 May 19, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Anarchist and Libertarian Pamphlets, Anarchist Federation of Britain/Freedom Press, Irish Left Online Document Archive, Irish Politics.
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To download this document please click on the following link: AN WEEKLY BINDER

To got the Irish Left Archive site please click here.

This is a fascinating document from the Freedom Anarchist Weekly, which was linked to the Anarchist Federation of Britain and printed by Freedom Press, which itself was the main mover of the publication (which remains in print and is the only regular anarchist publication in Britain) and is the oldest anarchist press in Britain.

Printed in April 1972 there are a range of pieces in the four page document. These include pieces on the Paris Commune, letters about Rhodesia, an exhortation to workers to ‘Ignore the Law!’ in relation to the Industrial Relations Act. There’s an intriguing article on ‘Scottish revolutionary bank robbers’ entitled No Power in the Barrel of this Gun. There’s a strong international component. Spain under Franco is referenced, as is the plight of US conscripts who have made the journey to Canada (and it notes that those who make it to the UK ‘where they have unwisely taken refuge’ are handed over to the US authorities.

The main focus is on Ireland and the headline is ‘Military Dictatorship in Northern Ireland’. It argues that ‘The British Government has suspended the constitution of NI, dismissed the Elected Government at Stormont, and appointed a Westminster puppet to rule over the people of Ulster’. It argues that this is ‘military dictatorship and it has been imposed without the slightest opposition form the ‘democratic, ‘liberal’ and ‘socialist’ politicians of both Britain and Ireland’.

It contends that ‘The ‘Left’ – the communists and ‘revolutionaries’ of numerous varieties are so far sunk in the bog of Irish nationalism that they have not even noticed that a military dictatorship has been smooth set up before their very eyes. They are so accustomed to seeking ‘solutions’ through government action, that is, through violence, that Heath’s move is studied only to see whether it will provide such a solution’.

There is no easy way out, and there is no way out at all through politics. The people themselves must take a hand. Not by lending themselves to the violence of the politicians. Not by supporting the nationalists of the IRA or the nationalists of the North and Craig. Both these groups are devoted not to the liberation of the people from oppression and injustice, but to the securing of power for themselves.

It continues:

Nationalism is a curse. Flags don’t feed babies, build homes, or end wage slavery. For that there is required not nationalistic fervour, but mutual aid, co-operation, and brotherhood.

Also on the front cover are An Appeal to British Soldiers in Ireland and an Appeal to the Soldiers of the IRA. The first suggests that ‘Some of you have no doubt escaped from unemployment into the army – that is how most volunteer armies are recruited – and we are sure that few of you thought much about killing. But when the chips are down that is what you have to do. The common people of Ireland basically want what we all want – a job – a home – and a peaceful life’. They should be left to themselves to find it. The latter argues: ‘The Catholics of the North, poor and oppressed as they are, do not want life as it is in Southern Ireland. Like common people everywhere they want to live at peace with their neighbours and get a living wage and decent housing. And for the Protestant worker it is the same, what have they in common with the landed gentry who claims to speak for them?’

Left Archive: The Agitator – A Directory of Autonomous, Non-Hierarchical Groups and Such Like in Britain and Ireland, September 1998 August 13, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Anarchist and Libertarian Pamphlets, Irish Left Online Document Archive.

To download the above please click on the following link: AGIT GO

Here’s an interesting document that seeks to list ‘autonomous, non-hierarchical groups’ in Britain and Ireland. It defines the above as ‘if you would broadly describe yourself as autonomous of any political party and working in a non-hierarchical way’. In the introduction under the heading ‘So You Want to Change the World? You are not alone!’ it notes that:

This directory, created by people from Counter Information, Haringey Solidarity Group & the Anarchist Distribution Service, contains details of autonomous, non-hierarchical, libertarian activist groups, magazines, bookshops, etc. This is the first edition and we accept the list is probably not complete. Can it ever be? Details have been provided by the groups themselves (unless otherwise stated) and we have not edited any entry. however, inclusion in this directory does not necessarily mean we support everything they do.

And it continues:

We have created this directory as a way of encouraging information sharing, solidarity and networking between groups and individuals who are actively involved in the struggle against the oppressive and exploitative society we live in. Groups and individuals who are agitating for a society based on freedom, equality, co-operation, self organisation and mutual aid. We want to be part of creating a culture of resistance, encouraging people to organise reclaiming their lives. We can change society by the way we act, live and relate to one another. We think better communication and sharing of ideas and experiences is a step in the right direction to recognising our collective strength and to stimulating active struggle for social justice.

And it concludes:

Lets get organised, get active and go change the world – rather than just talking or dreaming about it!

The document is organised under various headings including ‘Local Groups’, ‘National Groups’, National Networks’, ‘Autonomous Centres’, ‘Bookshops’ and others.

A broad range of groups are included, and overall the balance tilts strongly towards Britain, perhaps unsurprisingly. So one will find the Animal LIberation Front Supporters group, Dublin Abortion Rights Group and Kent Socialist Alliance (“we are a very broad (socialist, anarchist, anti-fascist, animal rights, trade unionist) network of activists…”) and the Equi-Phallic Alliance/Proles for Modernism (“We campaign against ‘mysticism’, particularly when it is combined with ‘green’ direct action… we are against the ecofascist current in ‘green’ politics. We pitch ourselves against the forces of reaction and demand nothing’).

National Groups includes Anti-Fascist Action, Class War and so on. The Irish groups included under that heading are a heterogenous mix, including the Irish Mexico Group.

As a snap shot of various strands on the libertarian left while self-admittedly subjective it does provide a fascinating insight.

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