Growing up in West Belfast, as Maíria Cahill did, you are immediately introduced and submerged into a culture of republicanism and of the armed struggle. Murals, flags and gardens of remembrance make it impossible to escape. What is lurking in the shadows of these symbols and the shadows of local heroes is the clandestine sexual abuse that went on during those turbulent years – clandestine to the public but an open secret within the republican family.
Living in a community where Sinn Féin have an absolute political monopoly, it was incredibly brave of Maíria to waive her right to anonymity and challenge the conventional wisdom that surrounded her case – the conventional wisdom that the IRA was responsible for. What we have seen as result, is an attempt by Sinn Féin, as they quite often do, to make Maíria’s rape something it is not. They are trying to write this off as an attack on Gerry Adams and are actively adding to rape culture by implying that Maíria has made it all up for these ends.
Zaher Baher of the Kurdistan Anarchists Forum spoke at the 2014 London Anarchist Bookfair about the two weeks he spent in Syrian Kurdistan in May 2014, looking at the experiences of self-management in the region, experiments that have become more widely discussed as the result of the defense of Kobane against ISIS. Zaher is also a member of Haringey Solidarity Group
Zaher Baher of the Kurdistan Anarchists Forum spent two weeks in Syrian Kurdistan in May 2014, looking at the experiences of self-management in the region, experiments that have become more widely discussed as the result of the defense of Kobane against ISIS. This account tells in some detail what he saw and what conclusions he draws. Zaher is also a member of Haringey Solidarity Group and spoke at the 2014 London Anarchist Bookfair about his experiences. This account was originally published as 'The experiment of West Kurdistan (Syrian Kurdistan) has proved that people can make changes'
Gustavo Esteva is an independent writer and grassroots activist. He has been a central contributor to a wide range of Mexican, Latin American, and international nongovernmental organizations and solidarity networks, including the Universidad de la Tierra en Oaxaca and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. The WSM's Tom Murray caught up with Gustavo at a recent public lecture at the Kimmage Development Centre to discuss hope, friendship and surprise in the zombie-time of capitalism, and how people are taking initiatives, reclaiming control of their lives and creating vibrant, autonomous alternatives here today.
Welcome to the tenth instalment of the Irish Anarchist Review, published for the 2014 London Anarchist Bookfair.
Five years ago, the Irish Anarchist Review replaced Red and Black Revolution as the magazine of the Workers Solidarity Movement. It’s mission was to fill a vacuum in Irish radical circles, to be a publication that raised questions and provoked debate, rather than laying out blueprints for success, as had been the norm in the more theoretical work of the left. It was established at a time where a fightback was believed to be imminent, when the expectation was that as the (economic) beatings continued, morale would improve.
Saturday last, 11th October, saw tens of thousands take to the streets of Dublin in a powerful, colourful and vibrant display of opposition to the Irish government’s attempts to impose water charges.
The numbers who turned out were so large and took everybody by surprise to such an extent that nobody – media, gardai or organisers – could give an accurate estimate of actual numbers. Estimates varied from 30,000 to 100,000, but whatever the exact figure was it was clear that this was the start of something huge.
It was an energising and invigorating protest to be part of. From well before the start time, people were arriving in their droves at Parnell Square. To see groups of people arriving in by bus from all over the city and from around the country was inspiring and should have a huge impact on the political confidence of all those who took part.
The WSM considers the struggle for Kobane and the autonomous zones of Rojava to be crucial for the development of a political alternative for the region. We view Daesh as the toxic excrescence of the results of global and regional imperialist intervention in Syria and Iraq.
OLINTLA is a small village in the Sierra Norte, a remote, mountainous region to the east of Mexico City. The landscape there is dramatic, green and beautiful, mostly sunlit jungle, rivers and wildlife. The hillsides are occasionally populated by farming towns and villages, mainly indigenous communities whose way of life is constantly threatened. In recent years, the Mexican state has accelerated plans for the development of a vast hydroelectric power plant in the area, directly impacting the people in Olintla and about a dozen or so neighbouring communities. What appears on the surface to be a ‘green energy’ project is in fact closely bound up with community displacement and the aggressive extraction of local oil and gas reserves, primarily to the detriment of the region’s water resources and wider capacity to sustain life. Unfortunately, Olintla is far from an atypical case but represents how indigenous communities in Mexico, as in Latin America more generally, tend to bear the brunt of the state’s creation of opportunities for private capital accumulation, called ‘development’ by those in power and ‘projects of death’ by the communities affected.
1. To popularise the idea that an anarchist society is desirable and that it is reachable if enough people organise for it.
2. To encourage the use of anarchist methodologies in day to day organising efforts.
3. To expose the class nature of capitalist society and to argue that class organisation is fundamental to overthrowing capitalism and creating a new society.
4. To demonstrate the links between the issues that people struggle around and how these struggles often do not stand in isolation from each other.