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IFA-Brasil form independent bloc against oppression during huge anti-Bolsonaro demos across Brazil

IFA-Brasil form independent bloc against oppression during huge anti-Bolsonaro demos across Brazil

Tue, 01 Jun 2021 11:48:51 +0000

IFA-Brasil form independent bloc against oppression during huge anti-Bolsonaro demos across Brazil

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IFA-Brasil were present this weekend at the demonstration against Bolsonaro and against Genocide throughout the territory controlled by the Brazilian state. Together with the group of Indigenous Resistance, we were in the Anarchists and anarchopunks linked to the Aurora Negra Collective (IFA-br), the Anarcopunk Resistance Collective Flechascruzes and CCS Vila Dalva. Together in an independent bloc against oppression, for freedom and popular self-organization. More than 100,000 people closed the streets of São Paulo. The demonstrations took place throughout Brazil.

Fora Bolsonaro. Fora todos. Pela autoorganização popular!

See more photos and a video on Facebook

Banner text: Nossa história não comecou em 1988 não ao Marco Temporal. Nem do estado, nem do capital. As terra sao indigenas- Punks en luta. Translation: Our history did not begin in 1988, not at the ‘cut-off date’. Neither state nor capitalism. The lands are indigenous – Punks in struggle.

Note: Brief explanation of ‘Marco temporal’ on the banner: During the Temer presidency, it was recommended that all government departments, including Funai (indigneous agency), should accept the so-called ‘marco temporal’ — a cut-off date fixed at 5 October 1988, the day that Brazil’s most recent constitution was proclaimed. According to this, no indigenous group would be able to claim land they were not occupying on this particular date. In fact, more recently, Bolsonaro tried to abolish the Funai and bring it into the Ministry of Agriculture but this was opposed by the Brazil National Congress in 2019.

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In Erinnerung an Bayram! In memory of Bayram! En memoria de Bayran!

In Erinnerung an Bayram! In memory of Bayram! En memoria de Bayran!

Sun, 30 May 2021 12:18:32 +0000

In Erinnerung an Bayram! In memory of Bayram! En memoria de Bayran!

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Original text on websIte of FdA, 15th May 2021: https://fda-ifa.org/in-erinnerung-an-bayram/

triggerwarnung: Repression, staatliche Gewalt und Tod. Trigger warning: repression, state violence and death.

English & Spanish versions below!

For Bayran! Artwork.
Für die Verfolgten, für die Toten! Heute wie damals. Unsere Solidaritat gegen ihre Unterdrückung. Für Bayram!
For the persecuted, for the dead! Today as then. Our solidarity against their oppression.
For Bayram! ¡Por los perseguidos, por los muertos! Hoy como entonces. Nuestra solidaridad contra su opresión. ¡Por Bayram!

Bayram Mammadov, ein Anarchist aus Aserbaidschan, ist tot. Wir trauern um seinen Verlust, ein Mensch lässt sich durch niemanden ersetzen. Die zweifelhaften Umstände seines Todes bringen uns wieder die unmenschlichen Auswirkungen staatlicher Gewalt nahe. Unser Genosse und Gefährte wurde in Istanbul Anfang Mai tot aus dem Meer geborgen. Die türkische Polizei und aserbaidschanische Medien schreiben von Suizid oder einem Unfall. Oppositionelle hingegen zweifeln dies an. Freund*innen und Familie fordern Aufklärung über die Todesumstände.

Bayram wurde seit Jahren als Anarchist und bekannter Regimekritiker des autokratischen Staatspräsidenten Ilham Alijew in Aserbaidschan verfolgt. Er wurde 2016 als junger Aktivist gemeinsam mit Giyas Ibrahimow wegen eines Graffittis auf der Statue des ehemaligen aserbaidschanischen Präsidenten (und Vater des aktuellen) zu über 10 Jahren Haft verurteilt. Die Angeklagten und Verurteilten wurden mehrfach schwer gefoltert und ihnen wurden Drogen untergeschoben, um sie zu einer hohen Haftstrafe wegen Drogenbesitzes verurteilen zu können. Nach einer europaweiten Solidaritätswelle wurden Bayram und Giyas schließlich 2019 im Rahmen eines Präsidialerlasses begnadigt. Anfang 2020 entschied der Europäische Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte, dass die Verfolgung und Verurteilung der beiden Aktivisten politisch motiviert und somit unrechtmäßig sei.

Seit 2019 lebten Bayram und Giyas in der Türkei. Giyas wurde zwei Wochen vor Bayrams Tod ohne Nennung von Gründen nach Aserbaidschan abgeschoben. Damit ist Giyas einer von vielen Aktivist*innen und Oppositionellen, die vor der Verfolgung in Aserbaidschan in der Türkei Asyl suchten und von den freundschaftlichen Beziehungen zwischen Aserbaidschan und der Türkei überrollt wurden. Autoritäre Regime werden sich immer gegenseitig stützen. In der Verfolgung von politischen Aktivist*innen und Gegner*innen werden sie immer zusammenarbeiten. Wie weit ging das gemeinsame Vorgehen gegen Bayram in den beiden Ländern?
Bei seiner Einreise vor einigen Wochen wurde Bayram stundenlang von den türkischen Behörden verhört. Er ist nicht der erste Kritiker des Regimes in Baku, der unter zweifelhaften Umständen im Ausland ums Leben gekommen ist.

Sollte es keinen staatlich motivierten Mord an Bayram gegeben haben, verbleiben Unfall und unterlassene Hilfeleistung durch anwesende Behördenmenschen während des Ertrinkens oder Suizid als Ursachen. Letzteres ist eine ebenfalls zutiefst erschütternde und andauernde Konsequenz staatlicher Gewalt: Suizid als Entscheidung gegen das Leben, das aufgrund der Verfolgung, Inhaftierung und Folter unerträglich wurde.

Wir werden Bayram nicht vergessen. Wir werden das, was passiert ist, nicht vergessen. Wir werden uns erinnern, wie wir es tun, seitdem wir anfingen zu kämpfen und besiegt wurden. Einmal, zweimal, tausendmal. Damals wie heute. Unsere kollektive Erinnerung wird länger währen als ihre Herrschaft und ihre verzerrende Geschichtsschreibung. Wir haben uns 2016 solidarisch gezeigt und wir tun es heute. Unser Mitgefühl gilt den Freund*innen und Bayrams Familie. Wir kämpfen wie Bayram weiter für unsere Träume und eine bessere Welt.

Für die Verfolgten, für die Toten! Heute wie damals. Unsere Solidarität gegen ihre Unterdrückung! Für Bayram!

Einige Gefährt*innen/Genoss*innen aus der FdA

English:

In memory of Bayram!

Bayram Mammadov, an anarchist from Azerbaijan, is dead. We mourn his loss, a human being cannot be replaced by anyone. The suspicious circumstances of his death bring home to us again the inhuman effects of state violence. Our comrade and companion was recovered dead from the sea in Istanbul in early May. The Turkish police and Azerbaijani media write of suicide or an accident. Opposition activists, however, dispute this. Friends and family are demanding an explanation of the circumstances of his death.

Bayram has been persecuted for years as an anarchist and well-known critic of the autocratic president Ilham Aliyev in Azerbaijan. He was sentenced to over 10 years in prison in 2016 as a young activist along with Giyas Ibrahimov for graffiti on the statue of the former Azerbaijani president (and father of the current one). The accused and convicted were severely tortured several times and drugs were planted on them so that they could be sentenced to a long prison term for drug possession. After a European-wide wave of solidarity, Bayram and Giyas were finally pardoned in a presidential decree in 2019. In early 2020, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the prosecution and conviction of the two activists was politically motivated and therefore unlawful.

Bayram and Giyas had been living in Turkey since 2019. Giyas was deported to Azerbaijan two weeks before Bayram’s death, with no reason given. This makes Giyas one of many activists and opposition figures who sought asylum in Turkey for persecution in Azerbaijan and whose case was steamrolled by the friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey. Authoritarian regimes will always support each other. They will always cooperate in the persecution of political activists and opponents. How far did the joint action against Bayram go in the two countries? When he entered the country a few weeks ago, Bayram was interrogated for hours by the Turkish authorities. He is not the first critic of the regime in Baku to have died abroad under suspicious circumstances.

If there was no state-motivated murder of Bayram, accident and failure by the authorities who were present to render assistance during the drowning or suicide remain as possible causes. The latter is also a deeply distressing and enduring consequence of state violence: suicide as a decision against life that became unbearable due to persecution, imprisonment and torture.

We will not forget Bayram. We will not forget what happened. We will remember as we have done since we started to fight and be defeated. Once, twice, a thousand times. Then as now. Our collective memory will last longer than their dominance and their distorting historiography. We showed solidarity in 2016 and we do so today. Our sympathies go out to the friends and family of Bayram. Like Bayram, we continue to fight for our dreams and for a better world.

For the persecuted, for the dead!

Today as in the past. Our solidarity against their oppression!

For Bayram!

Espanol:

En memoria de Bayran!

Bayram Mammadov, anarquista de Azerbaiyán, ha muerto. Lamentamos su pérdida: un ser humano no puede ser sustituido por nadie. Las sospechosas circunstancias de su muerte nos recuerdan de nuevo los efectos inhumanos de la violencia estatal. Nuestro compañero fue recuperado muerto en el mar en Estambul a principios de mayo. La policía turca y los medios de comunicación azerbaiyanos hablan de suicidio o de accidente. Los activistas de la oposición, sin embargo, lo discuten. Amigos y familiares exigen una explicación de las circunstancias de su muerte.

Bayram ha sido perseguido durante años como anarquista y conocido crítico del presidente autocrático Ilham Aliyev en Azerbaiyán. Fue condenado a más de 10 años de prisión en 2016, cuando era un joven activista, junto a Giyas Ibrahimov por realizar pintadas en la estatua del expresidente azerbaiyano (y padre del actual). Los acusados y condenados fueron severamente torturados en varias ocasiones y se les puso droga para que fueran condenados a una larga pena de prisión por posesión de drogas. Tras una ola de solidaridad a nivel europeo, Bayram y Giyas fueron finalmente indultados por un decreto presidencial en 2019. A principios de 2020, el Tribunal Europeo de Derechos Humanos dictaminó que el enjuiciamiento y la condena de los dos activistas tenían una motivación política y, por tanto, eran ilegales.

Bayram y Giyas vivían en Turquía desde 2019. Giyas fue deportado a Azerbaiyán dos semanas antes de la muerte de Bayram, sin que se diera ninguna razón. Esto convierte a Giyas en uno de los muchos activistas y figuras de la oposición que pidieron asilo en Turquía por la persecución en Azerbaiyán y cuyo caso fue aplastado por las relaciones amistosas entre Azerbaiyán y Turquía. Los regímenes autoritarios siempre se apoyarán mutuamente; siempre cooperarán en la persecución de activistas y opositores políticos. ¿Hasta dónde llegó la acción conjunta contra Bayram en los dos países? Cuando entró en el país hace unas semanas, Bayram fue interrogado durante horas por las autoridades turcas. No es el/la primer/a crítico/a del régimen de Bakú que muere en el extranjero en circunstancias sospechosas.

Si no hubo un asesinato de Bayram motivado por el Estado, quedan como posibles causas el accidente y la falta de asistencia por parte de las autoridades que estaban presentes durante el ahogamiento o el suicidio. Este último es también una consecuencia profundamente angustiosa y duradera de la violencia estatal: el suicidio como una decisión contra la vida que se hizo insoportable debido a la persecución, el encarcelamiento y la tortura.

No olvidaremos a Bayram. No olvidaremos lo ocurrido. Recordaremos como lo hemos hecho desde que empezamos a luchar y ser derrotados/as. Una, dos, mil veces. Entonces como ahora. Nuestra memoria colectiva durará más que su dominio y su historiografía distorsionada. Nos solidarizamos en 2016 y lo hacemos hoy. Nuestras condolencias a los/as amigos/as y familiares de Bayram. Como Bayram, seguimos luchando por nuestros sueños y por un mundo mejor.

¡Por los/as perseguidos/as, por los/as muertos/as!

Hoy como en el pasado.

¡Nuestra solidaridad contra su opresión!

¡Por Bayram!

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New Land and Freedom blog from APO – Greece

New Land and Freedom blog from APO – Greece

Sat, 22 May 2021 16:37:15 +0000

New Land and Freedom blog from APO – Greece

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Home page/Greek: https://landandfreedom.gr/

https://landandfreedom.gr/en/ (English)

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35 years of the Anarchist Federation – reflections on 1986 and now

35 years of the Anarchist Federation – reflections on 1986 and now

Sat, 22 May 2021 13:20:42 +0000

35 years of the Anarchist Federation – reflections on 1986 and now

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Original article published in Organise! issue 94, Spring 2021, magazine of the Anarchist Federation (Britain): http://afed.org.uk/organise-magazine-issue-94-spring-2021/

It’s 35 years since the AF was first formed as the Anarchist Communist Federation in 1986. We’ve published retrospectives on several occasions before in the 10, 20, 25 and 30 year specials of Organise! This time we look back at what was happening in and around 1986 and its relationship to the emergence of the new anarchist organisations.

1986 had seen in some big anarchist anniversaries of its own. As well as the year being the centenary of the Haymarket Affair of 4th May 1886 in Chicago and a half century since the start of the Spanish Revolution in 1936, anarcho-pacifist influenced paper Peace News celebrated 50, and ‘Freedom / A Hundred Years’, a special centenary journal, was published. However, the views of those attached to Freedom at the time were not widely embraced by the emerging class struggle anarchist current. Although there was reference to history of the movement, including names associated with the origins of anarchist communism, much of the contemporary opinion read as of out-of-touch reminiscence and philosophical pondering, especially after the Miners’ strike battles and ‘inner city riots’ of the early decade. One article from a member of the newly launched Class War Federation did put the case for class politics and meaningful direct action (and appealed for anarchists to break from punk and veganism.) The article also called for more anarchist organisation and applauded the formation of the ACF.

Cold War politics

American militarism was a major 1980s political theme. The Ronald Reagan presidency was engaged in a not-so-Cold War in many corners of the globe. The US government was supporting several right-wing governments and insurgencies in Central America, including what became the Iran-Contra Affair, where the National Security Council was found to be covertly selling arms to Iran and using proceeds from this to fund right-wing rebel militias in Nicaragua. The Central Intelligence Agency was supporting Islamic fighters ‘Mujahideen’ in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union and UNITA in Angola who were a major ally of the South African state. Whilst Chomsky and Herman’s book ‘Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media’ (1988) was around the corner, anarchists were stressing the need for Do-It-Yourself publishing by revolutionaries.

In the last few years before the Berlin Wall was brought down, when the dual influences of Soviet Union and USA still divided up the globe, understanding of geo-politics was prevalent amongst the Left in Britain. The UK establishment’s role in supporting the Chilean junta had been a major Trade Union issue and so earlier in the 1980s it was especially galling to see the government cosy up to Pinochet and resume arms sales. The Falklands War was judged by the Left to be British jingoism and a key part of the election campaign tool for the Thatcher second term. The Anti-Apartheid Movement was strong and the Conservative Right’s support for the regime was well known. Around 1986, the Federation of Conservative Students was making a nuisance of itself with a universities speaking tour of Monday Club members and other politicians well known for their support for white power in South Africa and Rhodesia (pre-Zimbabwe) and anti-immigration policies and views. This led to a great deal of direct action that was supported by anarchists, to oppose and ‘no-platform’ specifically racist individuals.

In the UK, a major focus of direct action in addition to big demonstrations was against US military power more broadly. Reagan was engaged in brinkmanship with the waning Soviet power and had bought Cruise Missiles to air bases in England with the support of the Conservatives. Anarchists were active on CND demonstrations and set up peace camps. Involvement in direct action, including a great deal of fence cutting at Greenham Common, Molesworth and other USAF bases, led to important discussions in the peace movement about ‘violence to property’ that was eventually resolved in anarchist circles even amongst pacifists (where the consensus became that destruction of property was not considered to be violence.) Class struggle anarchism was, however, beginning to critique the peace movement as lifestylist, something that was also directed at Green Anarchist, its paper being quite visible on Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament demos. Also, anarchists, unlike some on the Left, were accepting of separatism in the movement (a defining feature of the Greenham women’s camps) and the ACF reflected this in its aims and principles, whilst in practice the mainly mixed anarchist groups assumed men within them were feminist anyway.

Thatcher, Thatcher …

1986 was past mid-way of Thatcher’s second term as Prime Minister and the neoliberal project was in full swing. Utilities and the buses were being privatised, and a law was passed to de-mutualise Building Societies. The year also saw the ‘Big Bang’ deregulation of the City allowing vast sums to be made from the easy credit available resulting in massive debt for many of the working class. The year also continued the cheap sell-off of council housing under ‘Right to Buy’ with discounts of up to 70% available for aspiring home-owners. Land and property prices were about to boom leading to gentrification becoming a major feature of Southern big cities whilst the Tories seemed content to let the North suffer the rot of industrial decay. Unemployment was stuck at over 3 million. Bradford’s ‘1 in 12 Club’ launch was one early anarchist recognition of the need for more autonomous spaces in the anarchist movement, whose name comes directly out of the unemployment statistics of the time. In general, anarchists were heavily involved with mutual aid in the face of Thatcherite attacks on welfare. Other important activist spaces such as the Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh had begun as advice centres.

The Marxist-Leninist/Trotskyist left was reeling since the second Thatcher election victory. Neil Kinnock, Labour leader, was spending much time in power marginalising them. Derek Hatton, deputy leader of Liverpool City Council was thrown out of the Party for his membership of the Militant Tendency. Along with various other city councils Liverpool he played a major part in the Militant inspired rate-capping rebellion against Thatcher’s plans to squeeze local government finances. Also in 1986, the GLC, led by Ken Livingstone and John McDonnell (known more recently as Corbyn’s Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer) was abolished, weakening the Left’s control of London. These events of the mid-80s represented the death-throws of Old Labour. The Local Government Act that was associated with rate-setting mentioned above was passed in 1986. This was notoriously amended in 1988 to add the Clause/Section 28 “prohibit the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities” which had not made it into the Act two years earlier. Anarchists took part in the many Clause 28 protests; it was eventually repealed in 2003.

In January 1986, the major labour movement struggle since the end of the Miners’ Strike was about to begin; the year-long Wapping Dispute. Rupert Murdoch’s News International empire was in the process of moving the Sun, Times and associated Sunday newspapers away from their long-time home on Fleet Street. A major part of the modernisation plan was to destroy the print unions’ power by sacking most of the no-longer needed typesetters and ensuring non-closed shop contracts at the new plant at Wapping. There was strong critique amongst class struggle anarchists and anarcho-syndicalists of the Trade Unions inability to foster solidarity. The campaign to support the printers from anarchists included supporting weekly demonstrations outside the Wapping plant and direct action to prevent distribution of papers by private haulage company TNT. The demos were heavily and violently policed with running battles most weeks. This dispute further consolidated the anarchist organisations attitude to the police as front-line enemies and towards class violence. The government upped the ante with the passing of the Public Order Act (1986) which gave police powers to control “public processions and assemblies” and provided long maximum sentences for riot, violent disorder and affray (10, 5 and 3 years) that were used to great effect by the state in the anti-Poll Tax campaign a few years later (anarchists responded to the “Battle of Trafalgar” of March 1990 by initiating unconditional legal support for the hundreds arrested).

Our movement in 2021

So where are we in 2021? In 1986 the anarchist papers like Virus (forerunner of Organise!), Class War and Direct Action fed on the anger of the middle Thatcher years and looked to working class revolt for inspiration. The pages of these papers would also go on to cover in some detail developments in Northern Ireland that followed the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement with some anarchists verging on support for the nationalist cause as a reflection of the anti-imperialism that was still very prevalent on the Left. There is now a more critical eye on colonialism that could perhaps help steer a better path between ultraleft and anti-imperialist positions such as in the analysis of Rojava where there is much disagreement amongst anarchists. As well as coming from the trigger of Brexit, the April 2021 rioting in Northern Ireland has its origins in the history of the Union and struggle for a United Ireland that anarchists were aiming to make sense of in their papers in the 1980s, but are less vocal about since the ending of the Troubles.

The family occasions of the Royals were a source of derision amongst many anarchists in the 1980s, especially for Class War, who produced the single ‘Better Dead than Wed!’ in response to the marriage of Andrew and Fergie. But with both The Windsors and The Crown as entertainment on Netflix and their real lives even stranger than fiction it hardly seems necessary for anarchists to make much effort ridiculing them anymore.

The mainstream media news has been very much about Party politics, and, until the pandemic hit, Brexit dominated the political agenda and to a lesser extent Scottish Independence. But anarchists were neither pro- nor anti-Brexit, treating Fortress Europe and English nationalism as two sides of a statist and capitalist coin. We were also mostly disinterested in the tussles within and between parties on either side of the border. The rise and fall of Corbyn and the installation of a ‘safe pair of hands’ like Keir Starmer sometimes feels a bit like the Kinnock years as the Labour Party tries once again to regain electoral credibility; this holds little appeal to anarchists apart from to say “told you so” to those leftists who spent time canvassing for Corbyn.

The last few years have not been kind to grassroots politics either, though. Our DIY press is no longer special, being just one drop in a vast ocean of internet media that is directed to individuals’ computer and phones by algorithms, whilst each populist state leader has been amongst the mainstream media’s biggest critics as a technique to position them alone as the “voice of the people”. Anarchists are also now having to explicitly distance ourselves from conspiracy theorists and be more nuanced about saying all politicians are liars. A lot of the community work nowadays is defensive, running first food banks and then soup kitchens as more people have struggled to feed themselves after incomes from low paid and precarious work evaporated during the pandemic. Anarchists have played a small part in this widespread need for mutual aid with good examples in London (GAF free shops) and Bristol (BASE & Roses).

One element of déjà vu from 1986 comes from the announcement of a new ‘Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.’ Judging by the use of police powers granted during the pandemic, this is more likely to be directed at stifling Reclaim These Streets protests against violence to women, Black Lives Matter demos and Extinction Rebellion actions, or as yet another attack on travellers, rather than being used to control workers disputes or demos about global politics. This said, economic strife may be around the corner as the state claws back the billions spent during the pandemic. A class analysis is essential as the outcome of the pandemic will amplify inequalities as much as the pandemic itself has revealed them. Anarchists also have much to offer tactically and have been instrumental in providing legal support on recent demos, which is an important legacy of the knowledge sharing and organisation of defence groups following the Public Order Act of 1986. The debate about violence to property has come back though in the context of statue toppling; anarchists could usefully look to the 1980s to see how this was justified in Peace News.

Globalisation

Internationally, things are very different in the organised anarchist movement since 1986. The Cold War framing of Latin American politics shifted after the fall of the Berlin Wall in the 1990s to a critique of capitalist globalisation. In Mexico, the Zapatistas emerged as a force in direct response to the North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994, which brought anarchism into direct solidarity relationships with indigenous struggles with support of many anarchists in Britain and Ireland for the Encuentros in Chiapas and other solidarity activity with comrades from Oaxaca and members of the FAM (Federación Anarquista de México) that AF was involved with. Anti-capitalism became a central feature of anarchist involvement in struggles of the 2000s, its forerunners existing in the Stop the City actions of the 1980s against the military-industrial complex, but now even more explicitly transnationalist with a No Borders ethos. For the AF, our international links have continued to grow since our joining the International of Anarchist Federations in 2000. Organisations in IFA include the Czech and Slovak Anarchist Federation and Federation of Anarchist Organising in Slovenia & Croatia, and we have good contact with comrades from Belarus who face intense and continued repression. Links with anarchists in the East, and most of the organisations themselves, simply did not exist or were still in exile in the West in the early-to-mid 1980s due to the Iron Curtain. The Latin American federations in IFA are highlighting the ongoing need for support for indigenous struggles, including the Mapuche people facing modern day land-grabs by corporations in Chile, and the massively unequal effect of Coronavirus amidst the contempt of Brazilian leader Bolsonaro for indigenous communities. This is in addition to the stark differences in access to vaccination between the richer and poorer countries in our international.

The rifts in British anarchist, feminist and left movements, caused by a reactionary rise in transphobia, had meant the postponement of larger anarchist events that have not yet returned due to the pandemic, although an online ‘Anarchist Bookfair in London’ was successfully held last year. The consultation on amendment of the Gender Recognition Act in UK and the activism of trans people, including those in AF, to increase visibility and acceptance, had put a small powerful group of ex-feminist academics and journalists in an uneasy alliance with religious fundamentalists, social conservatives and the far right. The antagonism is a departure from the 1980s when left and right politics were more clearly defined and anarchists aligned with the feminist movement for the most part, where the negatives focussed mainly on critiques of reformism or cross-class alliances. This has all caused headaches for some anarchists. Echoes of ‘no-platform’ were heard before the pandemic but the more confrontational face-to-face meetings have stopped due to social distancing, whilst the government decision not to amend the GRA to allow self-determination has fulfilled some of the reactionaries’ aims. The fight for transgender equality is ongoing and strongly reflects that against homophobia in the 1980s. The AF itself moved some years ago to the recognition of internal oppressions with the formalising of caususes that meet and organise separately whilst 2020s anarcha-feminism is confident in defining its own parameters.

Hopefully, the message of the class struggle anarchists of 1986 still stands regarding the need for organisations. A libertarian perspective will be needed to critique Coronavirus Passports which may otherwise realise the introduction ‘ID cards’ (proposed by successive government both Tory and Labour since the 1980s for other reasons) and to keep up the pressure that will hopefully Kill the Bill. Good organisation is needed, especially during the pandemic when we are more physically isolated, to make the case for an anarchist communist perspective.■

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Leonardo Romero and the criminalization of socialist activism on public spaces in Cuba [en/ca]

Leonardo Romero and the criminalization of socialist activism on public spaces in Cuba [en/ca]

Sat, 22 May 2021 13:12:43 +0000

Leonardo Romero and the criminalization of socialist activism on public spaces in Cuba [en/ca]

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LEONARDO ROMERO Y LA CRIMINALIZACIÓN DEL ACTIVISMO SOCIALISTA

The following statement is from our comrades in Havana: https://centrosocialabra.wordpress.com/tag/taller-libertario-alfredo-lopez/ and https://www.facebook.com/TallerLibertarioAlfredoLopez

Original text in Spanish posted on Facebook 6th May 2021: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10223583714394561&id=1041436958

On 30 April, Leonardo Romero Negrín was violently detained by the police during a demonstration at Obispo and Aguacate -Habana Vieja- carrying a sign saying “Socialism yes, repression no”.

Leo (that’s what those of us who know him call him) is a volunteer in the groups that care for the elderly and vulnerable in Cuba, called SAF (Sistema de Atención a la Familia; in english, Family Care System); an active member of his community ‒the municipality of Centro Habana‒ where he carries out educational activities with mostly marginalised children; participative and integrated in the cultural and political life of his study centre, the Faculty of Physics at the University of Havana, from his perspective of defending tolerance and political coexistence. Leo also helps to look after a disabled friend, together with a group of fellow students. He participated in the demonstration on 27 November in front of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Cuba calling for an end to repression and respect for the Constitution. He also took part in the Tángana in Trillo Park, an event that was intended to be a left-wing response to the above.

We are not talking about a CIA agent or a mercenary. As the son of a street sweeper and a teacher, people from humble sectors of the Cuban reality, Leo knows first-hand the poverty and marginality that exists in one of the most densely populated areas of Cuba with a high level of precariousness.

Leo is precisely a good example of the model citizen that every “revolutionary” and “socialist” state aims to form. We believe that the reason why, after releasing him with a minimal fine, the Department of State Security insists on harassing him ‒he is being prosecuted for an unacceptable charge of Public Disorder that carries penalties of up to five years in prison‒ is that Leo’s mere public existence is a focus on the truth of what the “Revolution” has become: Saturn devouring its children ‒what Fidel Castro said it would not be‒.

We demand an end to the police harassment and persecution of Leonardo Romero Negrín and we call for solidarity and attention from all comrades on this case that could define the future course of the Cuban Project of Society. It is not a precedent that we are willing to accept, is it that exercising socialist activism in Cuba will also be an illegality?

We recognise the citizens’ rights of the rest of those accused in the protests of 30 April in Old Havana, but for us the harassment, repression and possible criminal prosecution of Leo will directly define the future of what is understood by socialism in Cuba, it will set a precedent that will cement more clearly the dissociation of the Cuban government with the socialist ideas it claims to support and it is something that we cannot accept passively. For this we ask for the widest possible solidarity, by all possible means, with Leo’s defence and to prevent his criminal prosecution by the Cuban state.

This letter is signed by the Taller Libertario Alfredo López (= Alfredo López Libertarian Workshop) and the Red de Comunistas por Cuenta Propia de Cuba (= Network of Own-Account Communists of Cuba), and we invite individuals and collectives to sign in support.

LEONARDO ROMERO Y LA CRIMINALIZACIÓN DEL ACTIVISMO SOCIALISTA EN LOS ESPACIOS PÚBLICOS EN CUBA

El pasado 30 de abril, Leonardo Romero Negrín fue detenido violentamente por la policía, en una manifestación en Obispo y Aguacate –Habana Vieja– portando un cartel que decía “Socialismo sí, represión no”.

Leo (así le llamamos quienes le conocemos) es voluntario de los grupos de atención a ancianxs y personas vulnerables en Cuba, llamado SAF (Sistema de Atención a la Familia); miembro activo de su comunidad –el municipio de Centro Habana– donde realiza actividades didácticas con niñxs de condición marginal en su mayoría; participativo e integrado en la vida cultural y política de su centro de estudios, la Facultad de Física de la Universidad de La Habana, desde su perspectiva de defender la tolerancia y la convivencia política. Asimismo, Leo ayuda a cuidar –junto con un grupo de compañerxs– a un amigo discapacitado. Participó en la manifestación del 27 de noviembre frente al Ministerio de Cultura de la República de Cuba pidiendo el cese de la represión y el respeto a la Constitución. Participó también en la Tángana en el parque Trillo, evento que pretendía ser una respuesta desde la izquierda a lo anterior.

No hablamos de un agente de la CIA ni de un mercenario. Como hijo de un barrendero y de una docente, personas provenientes de sectores humildes de la realidad cubana, Leo conoce de primera mano la pobreza y marginalidad que se vive en una de las zonas de mayor densidad poblacional de Cuba con un alto índice de precariedad.

Leo es precisamente un buen ejemplo del modelo de ciudadano que todo Estado “revolucionario” y “socialista” pretende formar. Creemos que la razón por la que, tras haberlo liberado con una multa mínima, el Departamento de la Seguridad del Estado insiste en hostigarlo –está siendo procesado por un cargo inaceptable de Desorden Público que conlleva penas de hasta cinco años de cárcel– radica en que la mera existencia pública de Leo es un foco sobre la verdad de lo que ha devenido la “Revolución”: Saturno devorando a sus hijos –aquello que dijo Fidel Castro que no sería–.

Exigimos el cese del hostigamiento y la persecución policial a Leonardo Romero Negrín y convocamos a la solidaridad y atención por parte de todos los compañerxs sobre este caso que puede definir el trayecto futuro del Proyecto de Sociedad cubano. No es un precedente que estemos dispuestos a aceptar. ¿Es que ejercer el activismo socialista en Cuba será también una ilegalidad?

Reconocemos los derechos ciudadanos al resto de los encausados en las protestas del 30 de abril en la Habana Vieja, pero para nosotrxs el hostigamiento, la represión y el posible encausamiento penal de Leo definirá directamente el futuro de lo que se entiende por socialismo en Cuba, sentará un precedente que cimentará con más claridad la desvinculación del gobierno cubano con las ideas socialistas que dice sostener y es algo que no podemos aceptar pasivamente. Para esto solicitamos la más amplia solidaridad , por todos los medios posibles, con la defensa de Leo y por impedir su procesamiento penal por el Estado cubano.

Suscribimos esta carta el Taller Libertario Alfredo López y la Red de Comunistas por Cuentra Propia de Cuba, e invitamos a individualidades y colectivos a dejar su firma en señal de apoyo.

Enlace en Internet (06 de mayo de 2021): https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10223583714394561&id=1041436958

Leer también: https://centrosocialabra.wordpress.com/tag/taller-libertario-alfredo-lopez/ y https://www.facebook.com/TallerLibertarioAlfredoLopez

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Death of Azerbaijani anarchist Bayram Mammadov at age 26 – what happened in Istanbul?

Death of Azerbaijani anarchist Bayram Mammadov at age 26 – what happened in Istanbul?

Sat, 08 May 2021 14:03:16 +0000

Death of Azerbaijani anarchist Bayram Mammadov at age 26 – what happened in Istanbul?

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Bayram Mammadov 1995-2021. We report the sad news of the death of an anarchist and conscientious objector comrade Bayram Mammadov at the age of 26 years in Istanbul at the start of May 2021 after being missing for 2 days, His death was initially reported as 4th or 5th May by some sites but it appears he was found dead on 2nd May, although friends were not able to find his body in the hands of the authorities until later. Police initially said they had no further information except an eyewitness report that Bayram had jumped into the water to fetch his slippers and drowned and they did not have his body. After another day it turned out his body was in the morgue.

Bayram Mammadov was a young Azerbaijani activist who was one of two (along with Giyas Ibrahimov) imprisoned by the state in 2016 for graffittiing the statue of the former president Heydar Aliyev with the words “Fuck the system” and “Happy Slave Day” in Azeri — a play on the phrase “Happy Flower Day” (national holiday that coincides with Aliyev’s birthday). Bayram was set up on bogus charges, beaten, threatened with rape, sentenced to 10 years, imprisoned and tortured. The two were eventually released in 2019 via presidential pardon, of the former president’s son. In February 2020, the European Court of Human Rights Since 2020 ruled a violation of human rights under several Articles of the European Convention on Human Rights and ordered the state to pay compensation to each prisoner. Since then, later in 2020, Baryam had been in Istanbul for his studies. [information summarised from OBC article]

FdA prisoner campaigning in 2016 for Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov
FdA prisoner campaigning in 2016 for Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov http://fda-ifa.org/aserbaidschan-soli-der-ifa/

Devrimci Anarşist Federasyon (DAF) quickly protested outside the Azerbaijan consulate in Istanbul with the banner “The state murdered Bayram”. https://anarsistfederasyon.org/bayramin-katili-devlettir/

“Bayram Mammadov has been the target of the Azerbaijani state since the first day he opposed it. He was tortured, slandered, imprisoned, and ultimately forced to live as a political exile. Now the Turkish state says that Bayram committed suicide. We know they are lying. As we wrote in our banner, the state murdered Bayram. We were protesting today in front of the Azerbaijan consulate with our banner to spread the truth to the whole world. We will not stop asking what happened to Bayram!” https://www.facebook.com/DAFederasyon/ (video and photos of protest here).

Follow #WhatHappenedtoBayram for updates.

More information online in English: https://organisemagazine.org.uk/2021/05/06/bajram-mammadov-memoria/

Update 15th May: Statement by FdA (German-speaking federation, in German): https://fda-ifa.org/in-erinnerung-an-bayram/

Follow these links for other information in French via CNT-AIT and in Italian via OBC and in Umanita Nova (Istanbul: Lo stato ha ucciso Bayram!).

DAF protest in Istanbul, May 2021, after the death of Bayram

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Nelson Méndez 1952-2021 – Caracas, Venezuela

Nelson M̩ndez 1952-2021 РCaracas, Venezuela

Sat, 08 May 2021 12:26:43 +0000

Nelson M̩ndez 1952-2021 РCaracas, Venezuela

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Venezuela: Ha fallecido el compañero Nelson Mendez por Covid-19

Original text/Texto original: http://periodicoellibertario.blogspot.com/2021/05/venezuela-ha-fallecido-el-companero.html (English and German translations below). More photographs.

En la madrugada de este lluvioso 5 de mayo de 2021 en Caracas, ha fallecido a sus 68 años Nelson Mendez. Incansable propagandista ácrata, editor de las publicaciones Correo (A) y El Libertario, autor de varios libros y decenas de artículos de opinión e investigación. Nelson murió como consecuencia de complicaciones asociadas al Covid-19.

Nelson Méndez: (Caracas, 1952) era licenciado en Sociología y profesor titular de la Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV). Vinculado desde la juventud al activismo social y al anarquismo a partir de 1980, desde finales de los años 90 fue parte del equipo de redacción del periódico El Libertario. También fue uno de los animadores del Centro de Estudios Sociales Libertarios (CESL), que funcionó en Sarría durante varios años. Su más reciente libro es “Gastronomía y anarquismo. La utopía intensa de unir fogones, barricadas, placer y libertad” (2021). Anteriormente publicó “Un país en su artificio. Itinerario histórico de la ingeniería y la tecnología en Venezuela” (2011); y en coautoría con Alfredo Vallota: “Bitácora de la utopía. Anarquismo para el siglo XXI”. 

Nelson fue una referencia para varias generaciones de activistas anarquistas venezolanos. Su cubículo en la Escuela de Ingeniería de la UCV era un epicentro de publicaciones libertarias que llegaban de varias partes del mundo y reuniones de planificación de actividades de organización y propaganda. Fue un antiautoritario coherente, rechazando las inequidades de los gobiernos venezolanos previos y posteriores a 1998, así como los golpes de Estado de diferente signo ideológico ocurridos en los años 1992 y 2002. 

Sus compañeros y compañeras de El Libertario queremos, con estas líneas, rendirle un sentido homenaje. Su ejemplo sigue siendo una inspiración para nosotros y siempre llevaremos su alegría y bondad en nuestros corazones. Nuestras sentidas palabras de cariño y consuelo para su compañera Mina y su hijo Salvador.  

Speaking at IFA meeting

English translation: Comrade Nelson Mendez has died of Covid-19

In the early hours of this rainy 5 May 2021 in Caracas, Nelson Méndez passed away at the age of 68. A tireless propagandist, editor of the publications Correo (A) and El Libertario, author of several books and dozens of opinion and research articles. Nelson died as a result of complications associated with Covid-19.

Nelson Méndez: (Caracas, 1952) had a degree in Sociology and was a professor at the Central University of Venezuela (UCV). Linked from his youth to social activism and anarchism from 1980 onwards, from the end of the 1990s he was part of the editorial team of the newspaper El Libertario. He was also one of the animators of the Centre for Libertarian Social Studies (CESL), which operated in Sarría for several years. His most recent book is “Gastronomía y anarquismo. La utopía intensa de unir fogones, barricadas, placer y libertad” (“Gastronomy and anarchism. The intense utopia of uniting cookers, barricades, pleasure and freedom” 2021). He previously published “Un país en su artificio. Itinerario histórico de la ingeniería y la tecnología en Venezuela” (“A country in its artifice. Historical itinerary of engineering and technology in Venezuela” 2011) and, co-authored with Alfredo Vallota, “Bitácora de la utopía. Anarquismo para el siglo XXI” (“Logbook of Utopia. Anarchism for the 21st century”).

Nelson was a reference for several generations of Venezuelan anarchist activists. His cubicle at the School of Engineering of the UCV was an epicentre of libertarian publications coming from various parts of the world and meetings to plan organisational and propaganda activities. He was a consistent anti-authoritarian, rejecting the inequities of the Venezuelan governments before and after 1998, as well as the coups d’état of different ideological signs that occurred in 1992 and 2002.

His colleagues at El Libertario would like, with these lines, to pay him a heartfelt tribute. His example continues to be an inspiration to us and we will always carry his joy and kindness in our hearts. Our heartfelt words of affection and consolation go to his partner Mina and his son Salvador.

Translated by FAI-Ib (IAF-ИФA-IFA) Periodical link: El Libertario

German, by FdA: https://fda-ifa.org/venezuela-der-anarchistische-genosse-nelson-mendez-starb-an-covid-19

Venezuela: Der anarchistische Genosse Nelson Méndez starb an Covid-19

Mitglieder der Redaktion von El Libertario (Originalartikel)

Im Morgengrauen dieses verregneten 5. Mai 2021 starb Nelson Mendez im Alter von 68 Jahren in Caracas, Venezuela. Ein unermüdlicher libertärer Medienmacher, Herausgeber von Zeitungen wie Correo (A) und El Libertario und Autor zahlreicher Bücher und Dutzender Meinungs- und investigativer Artikel, erlag Nelson den Komplikationen im Zuge einer Covid-19-Infektion.

Nelson Mendez (Caracas, 1952) hatte einen Titel in Soziologie und lehrte als Dozent an der Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV). Seit seiner Jugend war er politisch aktiv und ab 1980 als Anarchist. Ende der 1990er war er einer der Organisator*innen des Libertären Zentrums für soziale Studien CESL, der mehrere Jahre in Sarría Bestand hatte. Sein jüngst erschienenes, letztes Buch trägt den Titel „Gastronomie und Anarchismus. Die lebhafte Utopie, die entsteht, wenn Kochstellen, Barrikaden, Lust und Freiheit zusammenwirken“ (2021). Zusammen mit Alfredo Vallota schrieb er das Werk „Tagebuch der Utopie. Anarchismus für das 21. Jahrhundert“.

Nelson war vielen Generationen anarchistischer Aktivist*innen in Venezuela ein Vorbild. Sein Büro in der Ingenieursschule der UCV war ein Epizentrum libertärer Schriften, die ihn aus allen Ecken der Welt erreichten, und Schauplatz vieler Treffen zur Vorbereitung von Propaganda- und Organisierungsevents. Er vertrat eine konsequent antiautoritäre Position und lehnte die Ungerechtigkeit der Regierungen vor und nach 1998 gleichermaßen ab, ebenso wie die unterschiedlich gelagerten Putsche der Jahre 1992 und 2002.

Als seine Genoss*innen bei El Libertario möchten wir ihn mit diesen Zeilen ehren. Sein Beispiel ist uns weiterhin eine Inspiration, seine Freude und seine Güte werden in unseren Herzen weiterleben. Unser aufrichtiges und mitfühlendes Beileid gilt seiner Partnerin Mina und dem Sohn Salvador.

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May Day reports from Italy, and Turkey – primi report arrivati del primo maggio

May Day reports from Italy, and Turkey – primi report arrivati del primo maggio

Mon, 03 May 2021 16:02:38 +0000

May Day reports from Italy, and Turkey – primi report arrivati del primo maggio

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Questi i primi report arrivati dalle tante piazze del primo maggio. Il comunicato della Cdc della FAI â€œPrimo maggio in piazza contro il governo” Ã¨ stato diffuso in molte delle iniziative e vari striscioni e slogan comuni fra cui “Le nostre vite contro i loro profitti” hanno caratterizzato la presenza delle anarchiche e degli anarchici della FAI ma non solo. Maggiori informazioni sugli eventi sul sito web di Umanita Nova

These are the first reports from the many city squares in Italy on May 1st. A communiqué was distributed for the FAI “May Day in the streets against the government”, Amongst the various banners and common slogans was “Our lives against their profits”. Read more about the events on the website of Umanita Nova (in Italian): https://umanitanova.org/?p=14083

It is also reported, via the AF website, news of the May Day 2021 actions from the DAF in Turkey where 19 anarchist comrades were arrested for participating in demonstrations after these were banned by the state (see featured photo above).

Finally, read this May Day statement from the APO in Greece (in English): http://apo.squathost.com/black-red-1st-of-may-against-the-state-the-capital-and-the-criminal-administration-of-the-pandemic/

FAI May Day 2021 demo in Milan
May Day 2021 in Milan

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Mayday 2021 greetings from the IFA Secretariat

Mayday 2021 greetings from the IFA Secretariat

Sat, 01 May 2021 09:18:26 +0000

Mayday 2021 greetings from the IFA Secretariat

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1st of May 2021. Greetings of the Secretariat of the International of Anarchist Federations (IAF/IFA)

AUDIO READING: www.youtu.be/VLl6VXhT-A4

The Secretariat of the International of Anarchist Federations sends its greetings to this international meeting for May Day 2021. Founded in 1968 at the International Anarchist Congress in Carrara, the International of Anarchist Federations continues carrying out the values of social justice, antiauthoritarianism and internationalism that inspired the struggle of the Paris Commune 150 year ago and of the five Martyrs of Chicago 135 years ago. Still inspired by these values, our member federations are committed to build an anarchist alternative for a world that is increasingly devastated by the crimes of capitalism, the logics of states and armies, the ever-growing environmental depredation.

In the last year, this situation has been tragically worsened by the current world pandemic, whose consequences are burdening the working class. Exploited and oppressed people are those most affected by the pandemic, and at the same time most committed to protect everyone’s health. Yet, in various regions of the world we are witnessing the deterioration of the living and working conditions of hundreds of millions of people. In many countries the military budget has been increased and war tensions between states are exacerbating alongside a growing concert of racist, fascist and nationalist propaganda. Governments all around the world are strengthening security measures, tightening control and repression on their populations and are widening the power of police forces. Meanwhile, all over the world, an increasingly segregated population is living in total deprivation in places such as poor neighbourhoods, detention camps for migrants and prisons.

Nevertheless, in every corner of the world there are forms of resistance. In some cases movements of struggle are not only resisting the harshening of authoritarian policies but they are trying to create an alternative. We stand with people revolting in the USA against racism and police, in Nigeria against special security forces, in France against a new police state, in Chile against the militaristic neoliberal State and the genocidal violence used to repress the Mapuche people, in Great Britain against patriarchy and gender violence. We are with those who are struggling for equality and liberty against dictatorships in Turkey and Belarus, and against authoritarian regimes in Thailand, Myanmar and Indonesia. Where it is present, the anarchist movement is an active part of these struggles, trying to develop their revolutionary potentialities and to counter any authoritarian degeneration. In various regions of the world anarchists are engaged daily, defending spaces of freedom, supporting striking workers, building solidarity and mutual aid networks to tackle poverty, gender violence, inaccessibility to protective equipment and medical treatment.

While it would be impossible to summarize all the activities which are being supported by our comrades and federations in different countries and realities, these include experiences of mutual aid which include, among other possible examples: Creating groups of mutual aid that help one’s community/house/neighbourhood to cope with the virus, for instance with distribution of food, protection equipment and medicine; Opening up new spaces for living and for making cultural activities, including occupations of spaces by homeless peoples; Circulation of books, journals and other supports and explanations to deal with the crisis; Promoting and practically implementing anticapitalistic alternatives to the existing economic system such as solidarity shared funds; Promoting activism to support abused and vulnerable groups such as indigenous people.

Now, more than ever, it is necessary to strengthen the internationalist dimension of anarchism, to oppose the ongoing authoritarian processes and to relaunch a revolutionary perspective in a world that capitalism and state have brought to the point of collapse. In this May Day, a date which is crucial for both our history and future, we confirm and continue our worldwide fight for fostering internationalist solidarity in the workers’ movements worldwide, to go ahead building day by day the new world that we bring in our hearts.

In solidarity
The IFA Secretariat

Web: i-f-a.org
Secretariat: secretariat [at] i-f-a.org
Social Media: @IntFedAnarchist

AUDIO READING: www.youtu.be/VLl6VXhT-A4

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Help rebuild Libertatia in Greece – online fund raiser launched

Help rebuild Libertatia in Greece – online fund raiser launched

Sun, 25 Apr 2021 16:48:30 +0000

Help rebuild Libertatia in Greece – online fund raiser launched

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Libertatia squat, active since 2008 in Thessaloniki, Greece was the target of a fascist mob on 21st January 2018. On that day, nationalistic fervor in Thessaloniki was at its very peak, with a very large demo taking place against use of the name Macedonia for the neighboring state. Since the fascist arson attack, a decision was made to repair the burnt building, continue the struggle for housing and at the same time make a solid statement against fascism

Rebuild Libertatia

To financially support the project a online radical fundraiser has now been set up: https://www.firefund.net/rebuildlibertatia

In order to continue the rebuild project, comrades are in need of additional funding from others, especially during this lockdown, as it has been impossible to organize any fundraising actions as would normally happen (concerts, financial support bars. etc). Funding the rebuild-project is twofold: the cost of the reconstruction itself, and also for legal defence of comrades being accused of involvement in the Libertatia struggle.

Support is requested to complete the project. Rebuilding Libertatia is a great challenge, not only for those directly involved, but for all people in the struggle against any form of fascism and capitalism. This process in itself and its ultimate success will be one more piece of proof that we can live and create without the interference of State, Capital and Authority. It is a battle that has to be won and will be won.

This solidarity blog on the IFA website is based on the text of the fund-raiser webpage, created 25th April 2021.

Read more about anarchist in Greece and calls for solidarity on our member federation website in Greek, English and other languages: https://apo.squathost.com/categoryinternational/

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Source: I-f-a.org