social movements

Forconi: the new pitchfork protest

The new “pitchfork” protest – nationwide this time – was announced weeks ago but it still seems to have taken the whole country by surprise. It began on 9 December and is still going on today, the organizers declaring that they won’t stop until the Letta government collapses.

Even though it’s highly unlikely that the government would collapse as a result of a protest like this, and even if the numbers of participants are low, there are many features that look a bit unusual and that are being discussed both in the mainstream media and in left-wing and radical circles.

Where does the protest come from?

Anarchism in the Chinese revolution - Arif Dirlik

Dirlik "Anarchism in the Chinese Revolution" cover

The best book on early 20th century Chinese anarchist history, with broad theoretical considerations about China's revolutionary encounter with global capitalist modernity.

Arif Dirlik's latest offering is a revisionist perspective on Chinese radicalism in the twentieth century. He argues that the history of anarchism is indispensable to understanding crucial themes in Chinese radicalism. And anarchism is particularly significant now as a source of democratic ideals within the history of the socialist movement in China.

Dispersing power: Social movements as anti-state forces - Raul Zibechi

Raul Zibechi is one of Latin America's leading political theorists. His, his first book translated into English, is a historical analysis of social struggles in Bolivia and the forms of community power instituted by that country's indigenous Aymara.

Dispersing Power offers new theoretical frameworks for understanding how social movements can and do operate independently of state-centered models for social change.

Reds and Wobblies: working-class radicalism and the state in New Zealand 1915-1925

Talk presented at the National Library of New Zealand, 22 October 2013, by Jared Davidson about New Zealand's radical history. More images are available here.

In July this year, political commentator Bryce Edwards led a NZ Herald article with the following quote: “Multiple spying scandals and sagas show that New Zealand is suffering from a democratic deficit.” He was, of course, talking about the Kim Dotcom, GCSB and Defence Force surveillance sagas.

Radical America #15.01-2: Facing Reaction (Double Issue)

Constituent Items:

The new terrain of American politics (O'Brien, Jim)
Retreat from the social wage human services in the 1980's (Withorn, Ann)
Economic crisis and conservative economic policies US capitalism in the 1980's (Campen, Jim)
Billboards of the future (Ewen, Stuart)
The continuing burden of race a review (Marable, Manning)

Sleepless in Istanbul V

Report and analysis on the neighbourhood assemblies in Istanbul.

In the days following the brutal recapture of Gezi Park on Saturday 15 June and the hot nights of barricades and mass mobilisation that followed, something unexpected, though not unprecedented, occurred. Beginning in Istanbul, and quickly spreading across Turkey’s major cities local ‘forum’, or neighbourhood assemblies, were established.

100 years of anarchism in New Zealand celebrated today

Philip Josephs

100 years ago today, 9 July, the Freedom Group was formed in Wellington, New Zealand.

A Jewish tailor and fox terrier owner; a Wellington carpenter and staunch family-man—not your typical anarchist-cum-bomber stereotypes. Yet one hundred years ago today, Philip Josephs and Carl Mumme were two founding members of the Freedom Group—one of New Zealand's first anarchist collectives.

Anarcho-syndicalism in Japan: 1911 to 1934 - Philippe Pelletier

An essay on the rise and fall of organized anarchism in Japan in the early 20th century, with special emphasis on its anarcho-syndicalist dimension, with interesting details concerning the disputes, splits and controversies that plagued the Japanese movement and which were surprisingly similar in their basic contours to those that affected the anarchist movement in the West during the same period.

Anarcho-syndicalism in Japan: 1911 to 1934 – Philippe Pelletier

Anarchism in Aberdeen, the Granite City

1890s Aberdeen viewed from the river

A short history of anarchism in late 19th century Aberdeen

“You sing about your bonnie Scotland and your heather hills. It's not your bonnie Scotland. It's not your heather hills. It’s the landlord’s Bonnie Scotland. It’s the landlord’s heather hills. And if you want enough earth to set a geranium in, you’ve got to pinch it”, J.L Mahon cried out.

Radical America #02.06: Radicalism & culture

Constituent articles:

- Toward a radical theory of culture (Gross, David)
- Notes on a radical theory of culture (Shapiro, Jeremy J.)
- Follettes & further (The Willie)
- The new left, 1967-1968 (O'Brien, James P.)
- Sitting on a bench in TSquare (Levy, D. A.)
- El cornu emplumado a narrative (Georgakas, Dan)
- Cartwheel flashes (Blazek, Doug)
- Three poets (Wagner, David)