[Update 17/1/15 – in response to an international solidarity callout for anarchist prisoners in Spain, some Bristol anarchists held a protest on Friday 16 January. See this Bristol AFed report & pics]
Recent years have seen growing, militant and popular anarchist movements across Spain. Unsurprisingly these have been met with state repression – attacks on protests & assemblies, arrests, beatings, imprisonment – but movements have continued to flourish. Mired in corruption and economic chaos, the Spanish state has recently moved to introduce a new law, the ‘Gag Law’, or Ley Mordaza, to clampdown further on opposition. It was no surprise then when on 16 December mass raids on homes and anarchist spaces were carried out, leading to at least 4 anarchists on bail and 7 on remand. The response of anarchists, other radicals and indeed non-radicals was immediate, as a series of protests & actions have occured daily ever since. The twitter hashtag #YoTambienSoyAnarquista (I too am an anarchist) has achieved mass circulation. The article below is one of many such statements of solidarity & struggle, and comes from the Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youth (Federación Ibérica de Juventudes Libertarias – FIJL), a Spanish anarchist organisation that pre-dates the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39. You can read here the Spanish original, and here the original English translation. Details of a Spanish solidarity fund/bank account are here.
Spanish State – Operation Pandora: Democracy imprisons 7 more anarchists
On December 16, Operation Pandora was unleashed. The State’s security forces burst into different houses and squats in Barcelona and Madrid, and eleven anarchist comrades were kidnapped.
This kidnapping—and it couldn’t have been done any other way—was coordinated with the media, who helped justify and legitimate it with heart and soul, spreading the news that the police had carried out an operation against international anarchist terrorism. This kidnapping of eleven comrades set off a multitude of rallies and demonstrations that same day in different cities—Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and Zaragoza, for example—thousands of people coming out in solidarity with the kidnapped comrades and showing rage and hatred towards the State’s new repressive operation against the libertarian movement. Continue reading Spanish State – Operation Pandora: Democracy imprisons 7 more anarchists
Breaking news 13 March – seems EDF have F’D OFF and bottled the court action for damages. See ‘EDF in dramatic climbdown’.
Ever since the labour movement of the 1970’s posed the question of ‘power’ to the political elite & boss class, successive Thatcherite governments have sort to crush union power, or at least tie the unions up in legal knots and with financial threats. They have largely succeeded, and must be emboldened by the relatively weak response to the Coalition government’s politically motivated austerity measures resulting in job threats & losses, and pay freezes.
However whilst the potential power of organised labour has lain fairly dormant and unused, opposition to austerity and corporate domination has tended to come from community and activist campaigns, with some success. Whilst numerous laws, and the reality of arrest & prison, have been used to intimidate campaigns, they remain an ongoing thorn in the side of power of capital and the state, with the potential to go further. So no doubt with one eye on potential struggles ahead, we can expect new or not often used measures to be tried on by corporations and the state.
Continue reading Resist Corporations’ attempts to muzzle dissent
What goes around, comes around. When there is oppression, there is always resistance, and then there’s repression of the resistance. The key is to break the cycle, once and for all.
Unless you’ve been visiting another planet these last few weeks, you’ll be aware of the confrontations in and around Stokes Croft, spilling into the neighbourhoods on either side (see Bristol Indymedia for starters if you have been on Mars). There are numerous local contributory factors that have been discussed at length elsewhere, but what we are seeing, or at least beginning to see, is a classic re-enactment of an ages old power struggle – for control of the streets. It is not a game, it is deadly serious. Lives, liberty and peoples’ futures are at stake. It is not a power struggle the ruling class (that is, those who control the wealth and political system) dare lose, because if they lose once it could be game over for them. They will use every tool at their disposal to win this struggle, all the time, wherever it occurs across Bristol and Britain as a whole. They know if they lose the streets, they are on their way out.
If you doubt this then look at exactly the same power struggle playing out right now across north Africa and the Middle East/Arab region, and to an extent on the fringes of Europe (Greece for example). Clearly there the struggle is at a heightened level and far more generalised across each specific country, but it is the same struggle. You can see clearly the lengths the dictators and oppressive regimes there will go to in order to maintain power and control of the streets – sending in armed forces, killing people, throwing them into prison to face rape, torture and humilitation, and death. Continue reading Oppression, resistance, repression, and resistance