November 25, 2020 –
February 17th marks the second anniversary of the founding of the Anarchist Communist Group. In a preamble to our founding statement we wrote:
“We are a revolutionary anarchist communist organisation made up of local groups and individuals who seek a complete transformation of society, and the creation of anarchist communism. This will mean the working class overthrowing capitalism, abolishing the State, getting rid of exploitation, hierarchies and oppressions, and halting the destruction of the environment.
To contribute to the building of a revolutionary anarchist movement we believe it is important to be organised. We are committed to building an effective national and international organisation that has a collective identity and works towards the common goal of anarchist communism, whilst at the same time working together with other working class organisations and in grass roots campaigns.
We do not see ourselves as the leaders of a revolutionary movement but part of a wider movement for revolutionary change. In addition, we strive to base all our current actions on the principles that will be the basis of the future society: mutual aid, solidarity, collective responsibility, individual freedom and autonomy, free association and federalism.”
When we founded the organisation we were a dozen anarchist communist militants, organised around three groups, in Leicester, London and Surrey. In the period between then and now we have more than trebled our membership and have created further groups in Devon, Glasgow, Kent, West Yorkshire, and West London with potential for another group in Norwich. Apart from these groups we have members in Bristol, Edinburgh, Invergordon, Orkney, Peterborough, and Winchester. We have organised two annual Day Schools and our groups have put on a large number of public meetings and discussion meetings.
We have produced nine pamphlets, a number of both local and territorial leaflets, and a whole range of stickers. We have published seven issues of our agitational newssheet Jackdaw and the first issue of our theoretical magazine Virus. In addition, the West Yorkshire group has produced 4 issues of its paper Rebel Rose, whilst London comrades have a big input into the London anarchist paper Rebel City.
We have consolidated and have begun to put on flesh on our frame. Of course, we would be the first to admit that we are a tiny group but we feel that we are punching above our weight.
We advocate the development of a mass revolutionary movement organised at the grass roots, with a dynamic libertarian communist organisation acting within it to coordinate, radicalise and draw lessons. We realise what we are up against in this task but we know that it can only happen through persistent and dogged hard work.
As we said on the first anniversary of the founding of our organisation:
“The level of class consciousness and any sense of class unity is low, while racism and xenophobia are sadly on the rise. Ongoing austerity, poverty, the housing crisis and homelessness barely register a blip in the media (and consequently in many people’s minds) compared to the insecurity of Brexit. Meanwhile, the global tendency towards right wing populism is almost as strong in this country as it is in others where populist leaders have come to the fore. And the supposed ‘antidote’ of a Corbyn led Labour Party is just more placebo, a palliative and ultimately a dead end for the working class and for any hope of moving in a revolutionary direction.”
Now Corbynism is reeling in shock from its electoral defeat. We live in hope that radicalised elements within the Labour Party will break with it and move in a revolutionary direction. That would be positive and we would do what we could to assist this. We can but live in hope. But what really counts is the development of revolutionary theory linked to a practice in grass roots movements, to organisation around the everyday problems of the working class. That is what will put libertarian communism on the map.
In order to do this, we need to strengthen and solidify the Anarchist Communist Group. If you are a serious libertarian revolutionary, disturbed by the lack of clarity and organisational malaise that rules in what passes for British anarchism, you should think seriously of joining the ACG.