Solidarity is unity (as of a group or class) that produces or is based on community of interests, objectives, and standards. It refers to the ties in a society that bind people together as one.
A good barometer of any society is how it treats people who are the most socially disadvantaged. In other words we are talking about people on the edge or on the bottom of this heap. In Ireland we have a pyramid structure which has 1% of individuals at the top owning 34% of the wealth. At the broad base of this triangle we have people who are treated appallingly, who are discriminated against, stigmatized and ultimately written-off before they reach the age of adulthood. People who are never given a chance; many Travellers find themselves here.
Solidarity is a word that fills the songs, slogans and even names of movements in the anarchist, socialist and left tradition. Yet the meaning of the term is often assumed to be common knowledge that needs no further explanation or enquiry. In line with the theme of this issue of the Irish Anarchist Review this article aims to look a little deeper into the history and meaning of this term and how it should inform our activity today and the problems we face. Particularly in situations when equal empowerment between all the participants in the solidarity relation cannot be assumed as a starting point. Clearly solidarity, class and equality are all in some way intertwined, but the question is how, exactly?
A crowd of over 500 people took part in Saturday’s pre-budget march called by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions. The DCTU’s core message was to demand progressive taxation and public investment as an alternative to further cuts in public spending.
As always, the Spectacle of Defiance and Hope contributed greatly to the atmosphere of the rally with impressive visual and musical displays. A hearse and coffin led the protest, followed by nine giant posters bearing the much unloved faces of nine government ministers with the blood red inscription “Austerity Kills”. The Spectacle’s second message reverberated in song through the streets: “Arise, arise, arise!”
Last night, just after midnight a cowardly attack by over 15 members of Golden Dawn resulted in the murder of Pavlos Fyssas, an anti-fascist, left militant and hip-hop artist also known by his rap name Killah P.
Athens which is already in the grip of a public sector general strike, is in turmoil with Greek anti-fascists vowing vengence. Despite the murderer, reportedly a member of Golden Dawn, being arrested at the scene, knife in hand, the Greek neo-nazi party denied any involvement in what was clearly a pre-meditated ambush by a paramilitary uniformed mob.
The Syrian revolution is a revolution that began as a struggle for self-determination. The Syrian people demanded to determine their own destiny. And, for more than two years, against all odds, and in the face of massive repression and destruction from the Assad regime, they persevered. In the course of the revolutionary process, many other actors have also appeared on the scene to work against the struggle for self-determination. Iran and its militias, with the backing of Russia, came to the aid of the regime, to ensure the Syrian people would not be given this right. The jihadis of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham and others, under the guise of “fighting the Assad regime,” worked against this right as well. And I feel the same way about any Western intervention.
Conversation with Dimitris, a Greek anarchist living in Melbourne, co-founder of Anarkismo and translator of many English anarchist publications. I began by asking Dimitri, who became active in anarchism after a background in the Greek Communist Party, the nature of austerity in Greece and resistance to it. We also discussed briefly the history of Greek anarchism, its strengths and weaknesses in contrast with anarchism in Australia.
Early yesterday morning, Mayo farmer Gerry Bourke was arrested by Gardaí at his home in Aughoose, Co. Mayo. He was held for 6 hours at Belmullet Garda station before being charged with criminal damage and trespass at Shell's tunneling compound at Aughoose.
A younger comrade explained to me how he had travelled over 600 miles to be allowed into a field in Fermanagh to destroy a fence which had been specifically erected for that purpose. It was a sacrificial offering to the black block, complete with blunted razor wire so that they would not injure themselves in the thrashing. Just when you thought this scene could not get any more surreal, hear this. Beyond this field lay another barrier, and inside that fence there was a man from the security forces stating that if anyone attempted to get into this field there would be serious consequences. As per normal in these situations, the violence was always going to come from those in uniform. The stewards from the Socialist Party approached the black block and explained to them that the busses were leaving.
On a private island in the lake, far away from this absurd scene, the leaders of the G8 were meeting undisturbed.