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#Anarchism: Issue #9 of Avalanche released 

Anarchists always appropriated means to spread anti-authoritarian ideas and struggles to feed the dialogue and subversive action. It is in this sense that this publication is also intended as a tool, more precisely that of providing a space to nourish the international debate between anarchists. That is why these particular pages create space for struggles that spring from anarchist activities; autonomous, direct and self-organized struggles; struggles that go towards the destruction of power in all its forms; struggles happening today, yesterday or that are announcing itself.

Editorial: December 2016

Internationalism is the perspective that tries to get rid of the imposed concepts of borders and states, since the struggle and the solidarity of the enemies of all domination has to be carried beyond all barriers and borders of power. Internationalism means considering the international dimension of local incidents and processes as well as it means the internationalist dimension of the anarchist idea – that of a liberating perspective for each human being no matter in what place, no matter where she comes from. Since in this world liberation has always something to do with destruction, the ground on which we can get to know each other and discuss and meet far away from identities and cliches, from masks and shame, is also the ground on which we tell about our struggles, about struggling for freedom and about the destruction of our oppression. Where we talk about how we try to express our hostility against all domination in practical terms and dynamics.

The idea of this publication is to gather different contributions in which the authors speak from their own perspective and viewpoint about struggles and developments taking place where they live, thus making it possible for an internationalist readership to comprehend them. Avalanche is at the same time an attempt to stimulate a reciprocally feeding discourse and to be a frame for eventually developing correspondences. Correspondence in the sense of the idea and possibility to take up questions and perspectives of other contributions and spin and carry them further in direction of the own reality or criticizing and questioning them. Like this can arise potentially a stimulus, an intensification of perspective and a clarifying of ideas. But this is although a big challenge, because it needs the active participation of different comrades. Maybe exactly this is fundamental for internationalism: Relationships don’t just come to life where one is pleasing and consuming each other, and one still stays separated through distances, no, but rather where one is challenging each other – and one is confronting oneself with the challenge of coming together to deal with each other, to honestly and directly express the proper ideas, proposals and critiques.

In this sense we want to confront ourselves with the reality of the internationalist relationships and see, from whom contributions – so new texts or already published texts with a short introduction – are getting sent, and with whom it is possible to discuss about possible contributions – also interviews – instead of artificially constructing a participation by publishing articles from other publications or the internet. And for sure it is more likely possible on the basis of real relationships to ask and dig deeper for contributions to this project. Maybe this digging deeper for something is an important aspect that gets lost in many ways in the world of the internet. A digging in direction of “what’s happening at the moment? Where do we want to go? And how and on what ways?” Fundamental questions that should be at the beginning of any project and affinitarian relationship, and with which one is confronted again and again. And exactly ’cause these question are something basically individual, the “answering” of this questions can be done by nobody but ourselves. Those that are really in place and involved in the struggles can probably say and reflect best what’s going on and where they want to go. The role of those who think they can explain everything to others or recuperate struggles for themselves, opens the door for ideologization and delegation. A relationship cannot be developed on the basis of prefabricated frames of explanation and a prejudged perception, on the abstraction of concrete realities and the objectification of individuals, but only where everybody speaks for oneself. This is the basis where we imagine this project and the basis on which we call all those, that feel affinity to this project, to contribute to it.

The translation, reading and spreading of different texts, the traveling and discussing, the coming together and partially the realization of different undertakings are all things that a lot of comrades share and practice in an international frame. But often the common level stays on exchanging information and stories, something that is inspiring and important, but cannot really break the feeling of living in two separated worlds. A separation that can’t be broken through feigning ourselves that we’re fighting one common struggle together, as long as for the common, what we really share of individual analysis and methods, of perspectives and imaginations, is neither asked for nor searched. Is it the proposal that we are making each other, to just simply do what we also do in our place? Or is it possible – on the basis of a correspondence and the knowledge of specific contexts that comes with it – to develop a common proposal? Not as a fixed construction but as a core of common analysis and affinities – how it would be now possible to develop a real connection between different projects of struggle? Not to fall in the illusion that we then would be all on the same page, that we would have to become more or stronger and more powerful – no, the asymmetrical conflict that is always refusing to imitate the model and method of domination is a basis of our anarchy. But rather because we all really have one bowl under our feet and the processes of power do not only cross the frame of single countries, but carry in themselves an integral, global projection.

Far reaching infrastructural changes of power are taking place. For example it was possible in some few months to close the few remaining gaps in the borders of Europe, controlling them with help of police and military and to install a cross-border system of repatriation, expulsion and camps which concentrates the undesirable migrants at the gates of Europe. Other processes too, which show themselves – depending on the place specifically, but are developing internationally and nearly without disturbance, are about to transform the reality of our contexts far beyond just a construction of a new, specific manifestation of domination (lets look for example at the plans in the field of the coming energy supply, the new technologies and the “smart” cities). But, as this projects are developing transboundary, they need for their realization beyond and above the frame of single borders the same undisturbed circumstances and infrastructures, the same unimaginative resignation and lack of initiative from the side of the oppressed… maybe this is the terrain, that tries to understand the realities and circumstances of the changes taking place, also a basis to – starting from the specific analysis – find common elements and try out how the bordercrossing loss of control of domination and the connection of struggles can be accomplished.

With the attempt to circulate the redaction of this publication we stand also in front of an attempt towards practical internationalism – a decentralization and an experiment. Maybe this also can help us to discover what it could mean nowadays to develop an insurrectional internationalist projectuality.

Some anarchists living somewhere in Germany

Issue #9 of Avalanche (PDF file)

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Video: What Is Nationalism? – #Anarchism

Submedia TV: It’s no secret that anarchists don’t like states. In fact, we anarchists are generally defined by our rejection of, and opposition to state institutions, such as governments, police, and prisons. But while opposing these physical manifestations of the state is certainly an important part of anarchist practice, anarchist critiques of the state go much further, and include the underlying social relationships and ideologies that have historically been used to create states, and to uphold their authority. One of the most important of these concepts is nationalism. So what is it, exactly, and what do anarchists have against it?

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The 1871 Paris Commune, The First Working Class Uprising

A brief history of the world’s first socialist working class uprising. The workers of Paris, joined by mutinous National Guardsmen, seized the city and set about re-organising society in their own interests based on workers’ councils. They could not hold out, however, when more troops retook the city and massacred 30,000 workers in bloody revenge.

The Paris Commune is often said to be the first example of working people taking power. For this reason it is a highly significant event, even though it is ignored in the French history curriculum. On March 18 1871, after France was defeated by Prussia in the Franco-Prussian war, the French government sent troops into Paris to try and take back the Parisian National Guard’s cannon before the people got hold of it. Much to the dismay of the French government, the citizens of Paris had got hold of them, and wouldn’t give them up. The soldiers refused to fire on their own people and instead turned their weapons on their officers.

The PNG held free elections and the citizens of Paris elected a council made up mostly of Jacobins and Republicans (though there were a few anarchists and socialists as well). The council declared that Paris was an independent commune and that France should be a confederation of communes. Inside the Commune, all elected council members were instantly recallable, paid an average wage and had equal status to other commune members.

Contemporary anarchists were excited by these developments. The fact that the majority of Paris had organised itself without support from the state and was urging the rest of the world to do the same was pretty exciting. The Paris Commune led by example in showing that a new society, organised from the bottom up, was possible. The reforms initiated by the Commune, like turning workplaces into co-operatives, put anarchist theory into practice. By the end of May, 43 workplaces had become co-operatives and the Louvre Museum was a munitions factory run by a workers’ council.

The Mechanics Union and the Association of Metal Workers stated “our economic emancipation . . . can only be obtained through the formation of workers’ associations, which alone can transform our position from that of wage earners to that of associates.” They also advised the Commune’s Commission on Labour Organisation to support the following objectives: “The abolition of the exploitation of man by man… The organisation of labour in mutual associations and inalienable capital.” Through this, it was hoped that within the Commune, equality would not be an “empty word”. In the words of the most famous anarchist of the time, Mikhail Bakunin, the Paris Commune was a “clearly formulated negation of the state”.

However, anarchists argue that the Commune did not go far enough. Those within the Commune didn’t break with the ideas of representative government. As another famous anarchist, Peter Kropotkin said:

“if no central government was needed to rule the independent Communes… then a central municipal government becomes equally useless… the same federative principal would do within the Commune”

As the Commune kept some of the old ideas of representative democracy, they stopped the people within the Commune from acting for themselves, instead trusting the governors to sort things out for them.

Anarchists argued for federations of directly democratic mass assemblies, like the people of Paris had done just over a hundred years previously (must be something in the water!).

The council became increasingly isolated from those who’d elected it. The more isolated it got, the more authoritarian it got. The council set up a “Committee of Public Safety” to “defend [by terror]” the “revolution”. This Committee was opposed by the anarchist minority on the council and was ignored by the people who, unsurprisingly, were more concerned with defending Paris from invasion by the French army. In doing so, they proved right the old revolutionary cliché of ‘no government is revolutionary’!

On May 21st, the government troops entered the city and were met with seven days of solid street fighting. The last stand of the Communards took place at the cemetary of Montmartre, and after the defeat troops and armed members of the capitalist class roamed the city, killing and maiming at will. 30,000 Communards were killed in the battles, many after they had surrendered, and their bodies dumped in mass graves.

The legacy of the Commune lived on, however, and “Vive la commune!” (“Long live the Commune!” was painted over on the walls of Paris during the 1968 uprising, and not for the last time we can be sure…

Source: https://libcom.org/history/1871-the-paris-commune

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Video: What is Mutual Aid? – #Anarchism

In a world ruled by ceaseless capitalist competition, where people are pitted to work against each other, anarchists offer a different vision: Mutual Aid.

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Emma Goldman: #Anarchism and Other Essays

We publish the Biographical Sketch written by Hippolyte Havel in 1910. Download the free PDF file of Anarchism and Other Essays is a book written by Emma Goldman.

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#DisruptJ20 International of Anarchist Federations declares support for #J20

International of Anarchist Federations (IFA/IAF) declares its support for J20 protest and actions against Donald Trump.

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#Kropotkin #Anarchism: An Anarchist Guide to Christmas

It’s no surprise to discover that anarchist theorist Pyotr Kropotkin was interested in Christmas. In Russian culture, St. Nicholas (Николай Чудотворец) was revered as a defender of the oppressed, the weak and the disadvantaged. Kropotkin shared the sentiments. But there was also a family link. As everyone knows, Kropotkin could trace his ancestry to the ancient Rurik dynasty that ruled Russia before the upstart Romanovs and which, from the first century CE, controlled the trade routes between Moscow and the Byzantine Empire. Nicholas’s branch of the family had been sent out to patrol the Black Sea. But Nicholas was a spiritual man and sought an escape from the piracy and brigandage for which his Russian Viking family was famed. So he settled under a new name in the southern lands of the Empire, now Greece, and decided to use the wealth that he had amassed from his life of crime to alleviate the sufferings of the poor.

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#Anarchism ‘Nietzsche and Anarchy’ by Shahin (Elephant Editions)

Psychology for Free Spirits, Ontology for Social War

How is it possible to live free and joyful in this world of domination? The key idea Nietzsche offers us is this: don’t hide from struggle in fantasy worlds or imaginary futures, but affirm life, say yes to life here and now. With all its violence, cruelty and loneliness; and all its encounters of tenderness, wildness, delight and possibility.

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#Turkey Statement: Prison Sentence to Managing Editor of #Meydan Newspaper

On December 22, a turkish court sentenced managing editor Meydan Hüseyin Civan  of anarchist newspaper to 1 year and 3 months of imprisonment. We publish a first reaction by Meydan.

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Until All Are Free: Black Feminism, #Anarchism, and Interlocking Oppression

This essay is in the current issue of Perspectives on Anarchist Theory available from AK Press here!

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Illustration by Chris Stein and Josh MacPhee

If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression. —The Combahee River Collective

We are all feminists, united in our recognition that women’s subordination exists. Our struggle needs to be fought alongside the struggle against other forms of oppression. … We are all anarchists, united in our belief for the need to create alternatives to this capitalist, patriarchal society wherein all are dominated and exploited. —Revolutionary Anarcha-Feminist Group of Dublin

There is growing recognition among activists that we need to acknowledge the interconnectedness of our struggles if we are to harness the collective power necessary to overcome interlocking systems of domination. As Francesca Mastrangelo comments in an editorial piece for The Feminist Wire, we need to begin to “recognize that our liberation is bound up in the liberation of every person.”1 Or, as expressed by labor organizer Ai-Jen Poo, “The way we try to think about it and the way the world is, we’re all interdependent and interconnected . . . . Those connections are fairly invisible to most people most of the time. We’re taught not to see those connections.”2

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