Friday, October 26, 2007

As of tomorrow Molly will be out of town for about a week. I'll still try and check in here and post now and then in that time, but the frequency of posts will be reduced. Also no graphics. This blog will return to normal in early November. Rumour has it that Molly is travelling to the big Halloween bash in Transylvania, dressed as a werecat of course.

Thursday, October 25, 2007



Molly truly loves this news report. On October 19th members of the MDS (Movement for a Democratic Society) and students from Pratt New School and Pace SDS set up a street theatre event in NYC's Times Square. You can't get any more central to the pulsing heart of the American Empire than this. Protesters were clad as "pro-war zombies" and the Grim Reaper. They turned out on the third Friday in October to "help" recruiters. The zombies spoke to passersby, arguing that, "It's been a a long war, business is slow for recruiters and they seem lonely-stop in and say hello". The zombies worked a two hour shift (union rules ?), exhorting pedestrians to "support endless war", "give war a chance", sign up for "only two weekends a month-honest" and to remember that "violence is the answer". The sarcasm was not lost on three recruiters who came out of their smallish office on "military island" to glare at the ghouls. The zombies agreed that this was the most annoyed that they had ever seen the recruiters. Undead Nixon, who made an appearance at the event as well, encouraged the crowd to remember that death and destruction are "underrated" as he gave the hapless recruiters a big thumbs up.

See videos and photos of the action at:

MOLLY NOTE: Molly loves this sort of action. It's truly refreshing to see that the concept of humour isn't dead amongst modern anarchists, despite the best efforts of primitivists, post-leftists and believers in juvenile terrorism to bury it. Like a zombie it rises from the grave. Actions such as these do 100,000 more good than 10,000 set piece riots where people "play act at revolution". Revolution comes in its own good time if it comes at all, and it will never be hastened by those who think being defeated over and over by the police is "direct action". Such actions are merely "propaganda actions", whatever their participants believe in their fantasies. As "propaganda actions" they are obviously inferior to humorous actions such as the NYC comrades undertook in terms of actually influencing the opinion of people who witness them.

All that Molly can say is, to paraphrase an evil Stalinist, "create two, three, many street festivals".

On October 19th the owners of Metro Lighting and Crafts filed restraining order papers against a fired IWW member as another attempt at breaking solidarity and picket lines. The restraining order cites an event that took place in May 2007 and requires that Gabe W. not be allowed to meet with fellow workers (even the six workers currently on strike !) and denies him the right to picket the store which fired him for union organizing.
Basically this is another underhanded attempts by the owners to break union solidarity and try to stem lost business from the pickets.
Please show up at the picket lines this Saturday and show your support and solidarity with striking Metro workers. Pickets will continue every Saturday from 12-5 at 2121 San Pablo Ave., just south of the University of Berkeley. If you aren't able to do that please consider calling (1-888-METRO20 or emailing the owners ( ) and demand they stop union-busting actions and reinstate fired union worker, Gabe W.
For more information on this and other IWW organization efforts see
Metro Lighting and Crafts is one of many "green capitalists", promoting their business as "progressive". To say the least this outfits rarely live up to their advertising when it comes to their own workforce. As an aside I've just finished reading a book entitled 'Organic Inc' about the rise of the "natural foods" business in the USA. Guess how many organic farms in the whole USA are covered by an union contract. The answer is a grand total of ONE. Not that some of these outfits don't hire large numbers of farm workers. They do. But their trendy "ideals" don't cover workers' rights. More on 'Organic Inc.' later.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

During the 2007 IWW General Assembly the women's caucus of the IWW met to discuss issues on gender and inclusion. The results of the discussion were that a list of new IWW projects was drawn up. These include the following:
A. Work with Organizing Department and Organizing Training Committee to include information in their training sessions as to how workers can deal with sexism/racism/homophobia in the process of organizing. To sign up for this project email Sarah at
B. Compile a booklet in which women, queers and people of colour share personal anecdotes from their experiences in labour activism. Focus on relevance to the IWW, direct action and worker run community organizing. Contact Kirsten at about this project.
C. Draw up a "culture of inclusion" policy paper to be presented at the next IWW General Assembly.
D. Publicize the "Sato Fund" through the IWW and other outlets.
For more information on the IWW women's caucus contact Stephanie at or at Box, 1211, New York, NY 10029. there is also an open listserve at . Also see for more information on the projects and for the website promoting these projects.
Molly Note: The 'Sato Fund' is a memorial scholarship for students interested in the study of Hawaiian Creole English. it was set up to commemorate the work of linguist Charlene Sato. The website is . In addition to her academic work Sato was a long term IWW activist until her death in 1996.


Molly has just finished reading Abel Paz's 'Durruti in the Spanish Revolution' and hopes to review it soon here. But for now is a brief biography of the author, Abel Paz.

Born Diego Camacho in Almeria in August of 1921 'Abel Paz' was not yet 15 when the events of the Spanish Revolution erupted on July 19th, 1936. He had spent his childhood in the libertarian milieu, schooled in the rationalist Natura Schhol, going on excursions to the countryside with the sol y Vida group. At this early age he was already a worker, a member of the CNT's manyufacturing and Textile Workers' Union, and a member of the Libertarian Youth of El Clot. Thus, despite his youth he was a full participant in the events of the next few years.

He was an early participant in forming a group with other youths, Los Quijotes del Ideal (the Quixotes of the Ideal) who fought against the increasing bureaucratization of the CNT as the Communist led counterrevolution gained ground in the Republican Zone. This was the beginning of a lifelong devotion to the ideas of libertarian socialism. He became a baker's apprentice, participated in the 'May Days' of 1937 and lived in a peasant collective in Larida Province from October 1937 until the spring of 1938. This was at the time when Republican troops, under the Communist General Lister, were engaged in destroying the collectives of Aragon rather than fighting the fascists.

On January 25, 1939 Diego Comacho fled Barcelona along with thousands of others as Franco's troops enetered the city. The next few years were spent in France, underground during the period of German occupation. Here he acquired new names, Jacques Kamatacho, Juan Gonzales, Ricardo Santany Escamez. For an anarchist militant names were easier things to shed than principles, unlike the Communist "anti-fascists" who sang a different tune on the signing of the Hitler Stalin pact.

By 1942 Comacho was back in Spain where his time underground was brief. He was arrested and sentenced to 6 years prison time. In 1947 he was paroled. His time at liberty was once again brief- 114 days during which he participated in the underground activities of the FIJL (Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youth), under the alias of Luis Garcia Escamez. He was arrested in Barcelona in August and sentenced to another five years in prison.

Thanks to a little corruption on the part of prison authorities (about the only thing that makes life livable in fascist and communist regimes) he was able to have a note "lost" from his file, and he was once more released on parole. A similar thing may have led to his first parole. He immediately took up activity with the underground CNT and in 1953 represented the CNT of the Interior at the AIT Congress in Toulouse. Here he learned that the Spanish government had applied for his extradition on the charge of transporting explosives. This ruled out returning to Spain at the end of the Congress, though he did return clandestinely several times over the next two decades on missions for the CNT.

While in Toulouse he stayed at the CNT's office and began to write for CNT newspapers. Over the next few years the name of 'Abel Paz' was born as the young militant became a self-taught historian and prolific author. Paz has published numerous historical studies and also a multi-volume autobiography. Aside from 'Durruti in the Spanish Revolution' by AK Press few of these works are available in English. An abbreviated version of this book was published by Black Rose Books in 1985 under the title of 'Durruti: The People Armed'. The complete edition by AK Press is far superior. The French publishing house Hazan (no web address as far as I can determine- see for mailing address) has published one of his books under the title of 'The Spanish Civil War' in 1997. Most of Paz's works are only available in French or Spanish. There is a misconception floating about the internet and reinforced by the brief Wikipedia article on Paz that the Kate Sharpley Library has published a pamphlet by him under the title of 'The Iron Column'. In actual fact this a pamphlet written by Elias Manzanera, a volunteer from Italy in the anarchist militias. As far as Molly can determine the confusion began from a mistake made in an A-infos posting. At least one of Paz's works is available here in North America in French. The Montreal-based Librairie Insoumise carries his 'Barcelone 1936'. Paz has also served as a consultant for Ken Loach's film on the Spanish Revolution 'Land and Liberty'.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Five workers from Top City produce were recently fired from their jobs. The 'Gang of Five'- Osvaldo, Mario, Diego, Esau and Carlos- have been some the strongest and most active members of the IWW since they joined the unions almost two years ago.
After one of the workers was suspended on Saturday, the other four approached the boss in an attempt to discuss the situation. On Monday morning the boss told them all to wait outside and then never allowed them back in. They continue to be locked out.
Before joining the union Top City workers consistently pulled 72-hour weeks with no overtime and no benefits. Conditions improved once the shop went union. Workers filed a lawsuit against Top City for wage violations and negotiated a contract with the boss. They were waiting for the boss to sign the contract when they were fired without warning on Monday.
Pickets are ongoing and details will be posted on the IWW website, but right now the workers need your financial support. See HERE for how you can contribute and for a history of the IWW Food and Allied Workers' Union.


On October 6 NATO held military exercises in Croatia. While political and military "elites" visited the events anarchists organized protsts in Zagreb, Pula and Split. Anarchists wanted to show that there are people who are against the participation of Croatia in this military alliance. Better to do something than to watch everything with apathy. For some time now groups such as Food Not Bombs have done actions calling for No NATO ! Besides FnB there are anarcho-syndicalists and queer-anarchists who participate with them in such actions.

Anarchists planned an action in the city of Zadar, but the city council refused to grant permission for it. So they moved their actions to October 13. They hung banners and stickers against NATO on bridges. In Split Food Not Bombs talked with people on the street, gave out leaflets and hung a banner from a church tower, One day before the exercises in Zagreb anarchists hung banners and put up stickers in the centre of the town. They did one more action on October 7. Although the actions seemed small they were visible, and people saw that not everybody agreed with participation in NATO. We can't wait to have somebody do something for us. We must take the initiative and act. We know best what we need, not some politicians who have nothing in common with us.

As Glas Istre reports after the actions in Zagreb, Split and Zadar anarchists from Pula participated in actions against NATO. In the night between Sunday and Monday banners against the military organization were hung in several places in Pula. An anti-NATO banner with a nazi sign was hung on one bridge while another banner with the question "NATO peace keeper ?" was hung at the highway. The banner 'NATO=WAR' was hung in the centre of the town. There were also stickers in the town that read "they want us like parents who prepare their own children to be ready for war" and "war has a need for us; we have no need for war".

Anarchists showed that there are people who are against NATO. In their leaflets they said that as a generation that has survived war that they know very well what war is about and don't wish it on anyone at any time. The action in Pula was organized by anarchists who call themselves "Anonymous in Black".

Molly Note: The above text has been altered slightly for grammatical reasons. The original translation into English can be seen HERE. What impresses Molly most about this news item is that it is one more example of just how widespread the anarchist ideas have become. Croatia seems like an unlikely place to find anarchists and not just isolated group or two with a small scattering of individuals but groups who can organize public events in more than one city. very pleasant news.

Monday, October 22, 2007

In Moscow there has been a growing movement of residents fighting against the uncontrolled construction of luxury housing. The buildings going up are not only unaffordable for most people, but are often built in parks or public space between housing blocks. They often block the view of other residents, destroy all public and green areas and sometimes are even built in such as way to threaten the foundations of less stable buildings. The usual gentrification process often also takes place, displacing the poorer residents from areas they can no longer afford to live in.
Many of the protests have included direct actions such as blocking streets or construction work. Anarchists have been taking part in these actions.
On October 8 there was an action in Moscow, and 19 people were arrested including 6 members and sympathizers of KRAS, the Russian section of the IWA. The arrested anarchists were kept overnight and beaten. One of them was forced to go to court and was sentenced to four days in jail and a fine of 2,000 roubles. The rest decided that they would refuse to appear in court as an act of protest.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Over at the Carnival of Anarchy a blog aggregator for the best of anarchist blogging the subject matter keeps on changing. Like any good carnival you can't present the same show time after time. To the end of this month the subject is "best anarchist videos". In November it will be "The Security State". Coming up in December, "anarchist humour, joke collections, taking the mickey out of security cameras" and just general fun for the holidays. Drop on over to the Carnival. No cotton candy there, nor any junk food but real solid opinion. Read the best and join if you like. See Molly dressed up as a clown now and then.

Just published by the Kate Sharpley Library, a collection of articles devoted to Emilio Canzi, Italian anarchist, who was a key figure in the partisan struggle against fascism in the Piacenza region. Canzi was born on march 14 1893, fought in the First World War and joined the Italian anarchist movement in the 1920s. He helped train the Arditti del Popolo (Peoples' Commandos) who fought against Mussolini's blackshirts. In exile he agitated against fascism and fought it in the Spanish Civil War. Captured by the Germans in 1940, interned in Italy, he escaped to play a major role in the partisan struggle in his native Piacenza. He became head of the partisans of the XIIIth Zone, but was 'removed' by the Communist Party. After escaping them he returned to fight as "just another partisan". Just after liberation he died after being hit by a British Army truck.
As Finzi says, Canzi always fought on the side of freedom, and his story sheds a little more light on the role of anarchists in the resistance to fascism. Originally published as 'Dossier Emilio Canzi' in a supplement to A Rivista Anarchica. See the Kate Sharpley website for more details on this and their other publications.

Speaking of borders and abolishing same the No Borders Camp on the USA/Mexican border is coming up soon, on November 5-11. This camp is being held to protest the treatment of immigrants in the USA, both at the border and elsewhere and to call for free immigration. A wide variety of events, lectures, workshops, discussions and actions are being planned. To learn more go to the website at . Also recommended for the comprehensive list of links to other campaigns struggling around border issues and immigration worldwide.

Abolishing the Borders From Below is a cooperative project of numerous eastern European anarchists, bringing news of the libertarian movement in that part of the world. The latest edition has reports from Poland, Russia, Serbian, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova,Ukraine, Czech Republic, Turkey and Belarus. Most of the longer articles are organized under four headings: Mental Health, No Borders, Don't Vote-Organize and Anti-Militarism, but there is news from across the region. For a complete list of the articles and reports see HERE.
Now in its sixth year of publication Abolishing Borders is an irregular publication in chronic need of funds. To subscribe, read more or donate see their website at

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The following is a Mollymew translation of the recent press release that NEFAC-Montreal has put out concerning their new blog/website. For the original french version see HERE.

The Political Information Blog (BIP) of the Montreal Local Union, a member of the Northeastern Federation of Anarcho-Communists, is the newest baby of the Montreal agitational press. NEFAC-Montreal moreover also has federation material, that is to say Ruptures Magazine and the journal Cause Commune and now a new AgitProp tool on the web. This new agitational media will permit us to react immediately to events, give us power to rapidly take a stand, to spit in the face of the left as much as the right, to analyze local and international events, to denounce, to demand, to provoke, to debate and to diffuse our ideas much more Sum, a blog of libertarian agitation.

The political situation has been more and more moribund. It is more than necessary to act on all fronts and to attempt to influence and radicalize the social movements, the reformist left and 'Mr and Mrs. everybody', our neighbours and workmates. So, as libertarian communists we believe that a radical political alternatives exists to bourgeois democracy, to the "security right" (droitesecuritaire-hard to translate-mm) and the authoritarian far left. This blog will let us continue our struggle for a libertarian society, without classes or the state. The ruling class and its neo-liberal propaganda now have a new enemy in the alternative information brush. We will give no quarter ! We are fed up with compromises and false alternatives. We proclaim for the Commune !

Stay tuned, the communards are mounting the barricades...

See the blog for other events soon.

The following is the latest press release from the International Secretariat of the FAU-AIT (the German section of the International Workers' Association) on the 'Strike-Bike', now resuming production under self-management.

Production will start again on Monday, the 22nd of October at 6:30 am!. Finally, on October 22nd the bicycle factory in Nordhausen will start operations again. From 6:30 am the 'Strike-Bike' will be produced under full self management and without bosses. The 1,800 bicycles will be produced and delivered to the customers at the beginning of November. People who are interested in a 'Strike-Bike' but who didn't get one of the 1,800 now have the possibility of putting their name down on a reservation list at the webpage .

Media representatives from press, radio and television are welcome. we strongly ask for advance notice. Due to public interest accreditation is needed.

Those present will include colleagues from 'Bikes-in-Nordhausen e, V as well as members of the FAU, of the Cafe Libertad Collective and other unions from other countries.

Please register in a timely fashion by fax:
Bikes-in-Nordhausen e. V
Freiherr-vom-Stein-Str. 31, 99734 Nordhausen
Tel. 03631-622 124; Fax 03631-622 170

One of the sidebars to the recent events in Burma was the news that the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) had been able to use satellite imaging to document some of the ongoing human rights abuses in that country. This was carried out by the AAAS Science and Human Rights Program in association with various organizations concerned about human rights in Burma. Satellite images were provided by two private firms, GeoEye Inc. and DigitalGlobe. The Science and Human Rights program has previously used such technology to document government atrocities in Zimbabwe and Darfur. This data analysis focused on the eastern regions of Burma where the military has had a longstanding genocidal policy of attempting to clear the area of various ethnic minorities. The AAAS found substantial evidence of village destruction, military activities, forced relocation and refugee migration to neighbouring Thailand. Read THIS PRESS RELEASE for the full story as well as a link to the full (17Mb-shudder) report in pdf format. There are also links to previous reports on Darfur and Zimbabwe.
It is at least a small comfort that satellite technology means that it has become harder and harder for governments to hide their atrocities.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


The leaves have turned colour and fallen, all of them blowing into Steven Harper's driveway one hopes. Ottawa shivers as the squirrels hasten to stockpile nuts, of which Ottawa has a too goodly supply. Extra guards at the Parliament buildings with orders to shoot to kill at the flash of a bushy tail. The cold showers have begun, soon to turn into the first frigid snows. But things are still hot in the world of Canada's anarchists. Here's a medley of events from across the country, some taking place as we speak and some soon to come. Some have already been announced here at Molly's Blog, but there's no harm in repeating myself, repeating myself. This hardly claims to be a comprehensive list, but the very number of items gives testimony to the breadth of anarchism in Canada today.



Where: 2eme etage (second story) 2035 St-Laurent, Montreal.

When: 8:00 pm Friday, October 26th, 2007.

What: Benefit for Anarkhia. Anarkhia is an online website, news service, discussion board, printed journal and much more. See to find out all about it. The bands mentioned in the promo to the left will be playing at the benefit.

Also in Montreal



Where: Cafe Chaos, 2031 St.-Denis, Montreal

When: 6:00 pm, Friday, October 19th.

What: A party to announce the launch of the fourth edition of Le journal Le Feu aux poudres (loosely translated by Molly as 'A fire/shot of gunpowder'- perhaps better rendered as 'A Whiff of Gunpowder'). Le Feu aux poudres is a "agitational journal of anti-capitalism that opens a debate for a pluralist left". Email contact



Where: Gather for rally at Dorchester Square (the corner of Peel and Rene-Levesque), Montreal.

When: 12:30 pm, Saturday, October 27th.

What: Peace rally, especially directed against Canada's war in Afghanistan. Bring the troops home now ! See for more details. Also, la Coalition Guerre a la Guerre are planning a "surprise action" on the same day. They are calling for people to gather at the amin doors at the Pavillon Charles De Koninck at the Universite Laval at 1:00 pm. This will be the more direct action event.



Where: London Central Library, 251 Dundas St., beside the Red Roaster Coffee Shop.

When: 4:00 pm, Friday, October 19th.

What: Meeting of London area people interested in forming an organization to promote the ideas of Parecon, participatory economics. See for more details.



Where: Sudbury Courthouse, 155 Elm St., Sudbury, Ontario

When: Noon, Saturday, October 20th

What: Media conference and demonstration against the government practice of "security certificates" that allow detention via secret trials. See Sudbury Against War and Occupation for more details or phone 675-8479.



Where:Smiling Buddha Bar, 961 College St, West of Dovercourt.

When: As we speak, Thursday, October 18th.

What: Launch party for issue #5 of 'Upping the Anti', a libertarian socialist "journal of theory and action". Produced by the libertarian socialist collective 'Autonomy and Solidarity', a great outfit referenced many times on this blog. For more details about the journal see HERE.


Where: In front of CSIS Headquarters, 277 Front St., Toronto.

When: Saturday, October 20th, 2007, Noon.

What: Part of the nationwide Day of Action to Stop Secret Trials. March from CSIS headquarters to the Federal Court of Canada and ending at the Moss Park Armoury. Demands include the end of security certificates, an open trial for the five prisoners presently detained under them, an end to deportation to countries practicing torture and the closure of 'Guantanamo North'.


Where: The Brunswick Theatre, 296 Brunswick Ave., Toronto.

When: Saturday, October 20th, 2007, 8:00 pm.

What: Screening of the film 'Threadbare', referring to the case against 5 Muslim men arrested in Canada and deported despite the lack of evidence. Also the long history of Canada's criminalizing immigrants and refugees. See for details.



Where: Ottawa Public Library Auditorium, University of Ottawa, McDonald Hall Room 146, other locations. Ottawa. See the Road Network for details.

When: Six days from November 5th to November 10th.

What: Six evening presentations and workshops during the day will feature speakers on the historical roots and purposes of traditional schooling, power, authority, oppression, institutional violence, systemic racism, freedom and deschooling, alternative models for learning and much more. Speakers include David Noble, John Taylor Gatto, Cindy Milstein, Tara Guenette, Julie Lalonde, and Matt Hern. All workshops and events are free. the organizers hope for the event to "catalyze a new movement of projects and campaigns here in Ottawa to directly address the issues presented.".


Where: Carlton University, 204 Tory, Ottawa.

When: Tuesday, October 23rd, 6:45 pm.

What: Film showing, talk, discussion revolving around Kevin Annett's film 'Unrepentant', the story of Canada's attempt at genocide of native peoples by the residential school system. Based on Annett's book 'Hidden From History' it tells the story of how the Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian and United Churches, in collusion with Canada's federal government, attempted to destroy native culture. For more information about the film see . For more information about the event see


Where: Jack Purcell Community Centre, 320 Jack Purtill Lane, Ottawa.

When: Sunday, October 28th, 2007, 1:30 pm.

What : Part of Ottawa's Anarchist Discussion Group's ongoing series. Meets every second Sunday afternoon. This event revolves around the connection of anarchism with the effort to build an ecologically sustainable society where humanity lives in harmony with the natural world rather than dominating it. See link above for more details and other events in the series.


En el centro de Canada donde hay muy frio. Winnipeg.

Where: Mondragon coffee house and bookstore. Your anarchist home away from home. 91 Albert St., Winnipeg.

When: Sunday, October 28, 2007. Seating at 5:00 pm. Dinner served at 6:00 pm.

What: Fall fund raising dinner for Winnipeg's A-Zone at 91 Albert St., home of a multitude of fine and worthy projects. Five course meal. Complimetary alcoholic beverage. Live entertainment. Presnetation of the past, present and future of the A-Zone. Tickets available in advance at Mondragon.


Where: Room TBA, University of Winnipeg.

When: Wednesday, November 14, 2007, 7:00 pm

What: Screening of Ken Loach's masterful film 'Tierra y Libertad'/Land and Freedom, a documentary on the Spanish Revolution. Consultant for the fim was Abel Paz, a participant in the Revolution and author of 'Durruti in the Spanish Revolution'. Followed by a discussion.

Molly has to interject here. The presenters are the 'New Socialist Group'. Who Dey ?? Basically a collection of reformed Trotskyists who have gathered a number of other non-aligned leftists to them, more along the line of "sheltering" them from the disintegration of the New Left than anything else. Previous participants in the mercifully failed 'Rebuilding the Left' initiative. I say "mercifully" because once Dracula is in his grave with a stake through his heart you should leave that grave alone and not pull out the stake. A cynic would look at the way NS presents itself to the public and finding no public evidence of their Trotskyist roots- or at least evidence that is clear to anybody not familiar with left wing sects, Hal Draper is a dead giveaway to the suspicious- would conclude that NS is one more example of the Trotskyist tactic of "deep entrism". Instead of "winning the NDP to socialism" like the LSA used to pretent to do way back when they now want to "win the anarchists to socialism". Hence the strange spectacle of a Trot group presenting an anarchist film.

Now the cynical picture may not be entirely correct. No doubt the NS group contains scheming unreformed Leninists who think that opportunism is a moral obligation and who still masturbate to fantasies of becoming commisars of this, that and the other thing. But a cursory reading of its politics and those of its bigger brother, the Solidarity-USA group, leads one to think that there is a certain amount of sincerity amongst its ranks. Sincerity yes, but also great confusion with a dose of dishonesty. Most of its adherants have probably abandoned the juvenile fantasy of building a "democratic" (SIC!!!) centralist party and have accomodated themselves to the modern world. Molly reminds her readers that many of the BEST libertarian groups have come out of Trotskyism, whether this be the Canadian Autonomy and Solidarity Group, some of the founders of Love and Rage or reaching back further in time, Socialisme ou Barbarie and the Solidarity organization in the UK. People in transit. So perhaps judgement should be suspended.

The most annoying thing that Molly can gather from reading about the politics of these people is that they have a "school-marm" like mantra about the need for organization to achieve socialism. Like school marms their ideas of organization are ill formed and prone to simply following some sort of kindergarden rote. Try the experiment of removing the blah-blah from a platformist program (groups such as NS have conveniently removed their own blah-blah already whether for good or bad reasons) and run it in tandem with the NS program. See any difference ? Few would unless they have Molly's suspicious mind. Quite frankly "organization" is being created by anarchists today, and they hardly need to be lectured at a grade school level by the likes of NS. The two paths diverge when you start to allow the blah-blah back in, particularily when you contrast the child-like faith of groups such as NS in the careerist left that they would like to cozy up to with an anarchism that is organizational, like it usually has been in most of its history. The biggest critics of anarchist disorganization are not vague leftists but anarchists themselves.

But enough of this diversion. back to the listings.



Where: Mostly at the Alberta Avenue Community Centre. (see 'What' for preliminary events), 9210 - 118th Avenue, Edmonton.

When: Saturday, October 27th 11:00 am-7:00 pm; Sunday, October 28th, 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm.

What: Edmonton's most excellent anarchist bookfair, the biggest in western Canada. Books, lectures, events, entertainment and even a Halloween party. See for further details. Preliminary even include Norman Nawrocki 'Lessons from a Seven Foot Penis' on Thursday, October 25th at the Jekyll & Hyde Pub, 10610-100th Avenue, Edmonton. Doors open 8:00 pm. Also Ward Churchill "Organizing to Win' on Friday, October 26th at the Myer Horowitz Theatre, Students' Union Building, 8900-114th St., Edmonton. Closing event is the 'Anarchist Folk Show' on Sunday, October 28th, 2007 at 7:00 pm. Event at The Remedy Cafe, 8631- 109th St., Edmonton. Bands include Todi Stronghands (Halifax), Startal Ubiquitous (Halifax), R. Olson (Vancouver), Ben Disaster (Edmonton), Lex Mckie (lamenting folk ????).

Come on out for the best in the west.



Where: Broadway Skytrain Station, Commercial Drive, Vancouver.

When: Friday, October 19th, 2007, 4:30pm.

What: Leafleting, redaings and creative resistance against the Canadian government's security certificates. part of the National Day of Action of the campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada discussed previously. For the most complete backgrounder on this campaign see .


While you're looking at anarchist events don't forget to check out the appearances of Joey Only, Canada's anarchist/syndicalist/IWW songster and poet. For his appearances through the western rim (BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan) in Ocober and November see Joey Only. Much more than you think.

So that's the end of our little tour. As Molly said this list is hardly comprehensive So much happening. What Molly wants to say is that this is further evidence of the maturity of anarchism in Canada today. It is also evidence of a "critical mass" that could do much more if it was organized in an ideological federation. Not that such a federation should be the only organization. The events listed above give proof to the anarchist idea of spontaneous organization around "issues", but they are only around issues and necessarily both temporary and restricted. It is time for a larger organization that will give "body" to these initiatives without dictating to them. Food for thought.
Molly has reported previously on the case of Mansour Osanloo, the jailed leader of the bus workers' union in Tehran, Iran. This political prisoner is now in a precarious state of health, and may lose his eyesight unless he received urgent medical attention, something the Iranian authorities are denying him. Amnesty International has launched an online campaign to demand that Mr. Osanloo receive medical attention. You can read more about this campaign and join it HERE.

The International Transport Workers' Federation who have spearheaded the international campaign in Osanloo's defense have produced a short film entitled 'Freedom Will Come'. You can view it online at YouTube HERE. A DVD of the film will also soon be available.

Monday, October 15, 2007


The folks over at the LibCom website have added yet another interesting text to their online library, perhaps the best such collection on the internet. Titled 'Abolish Restaurants' it is a study by the Prole.Info group, an American left communist group. The essay is present at the Prole.Info site in either a comic book or text format(see the above link or Molly's 'Online Libraries' section under links). The LibCom site presents the text version only.

Abolish Restaurants is a thorough and penetrating study of the restaurant industry, its history, economics and internal structure. It is also a description of the ways that restaurant workers fight back against their exploitation and how these fight-backs are both partially successful and often derailed. True to its left communist perspective it ends with the call for the abolition of the whole "industry" of restaurants, of where meals and service are bought and sold and are produced by wage labour exploited outside of "real life".

This essay is truly comprehensive and enlightening, and is well worth the read. A long one...the LibCom printout runs to 24 pages, and the comic book format available at Prole.Info is 13.4Mb in a pdf format. I'm not touching that last one. This essay is at its best in its insider description of the nuts and bolts of what it is like to work in a restaurant, putting flesh on the bare bones of economic description and showing the workers as real human beings in the complexity of their situation. It is weakest in the "what is to be done" category. The author reject unions, self-management and other meliorist ways that people use to improve their situation collectively. The only sort of self-organization that meets with their full approval is the informal and, of necessity, highly temporary work group. There is, of course, an abiding faith that somehow, some way, some time, some sort of class organization will arise spontaneously to sweep away all the conditions of capital and its wage labour. The details of such organization are, however, more than slightly vague resembling an ecstatic religious vision shorn of concrete detail/superstition and beautiful because of its abstraction. But a political program or a plan of and definitely no.
Here Molly has to digress. Non-anarchists and even the vast majority of younger anarchists can easily be confused by some of the labels assigned to a given group or individual's political theory. The whole subject of the "left communist" trend, very much a minority amongst the libertarian left is especially confusing. One reviewer of the Prole.Info group called them "insurrectionists", something they are most definitely not. Let me try to elucidate the matter, hopefully without adding to the confusion.

First of all one has to ditch the classical idea of politics as made up of parties sitting on a linear left right continuum where the only "fuzzy points" are where one spot on the line merges into another to either side. This vision is hardly realistic in mainstream politics, and it is particularly misleading in describing sectarian politics. The proper metaphor is more one of a moving blob of cells, each connected to many others and shading into them by multiple pseudopods. A rather messy picture, but one that more accurately describes reality than the linear model. This model is highly complex, but nowhere near as complex as the reality it attempts to describe.

Left communists are part of a political current that at one time included the situationists. They are pretty well Marxists by definition, holding to the sort of economics put forward in Marx's 'Capital' and not just giving it lip service but actually applying it over and over to describe practically everything else they pay attention to. Their devotion to Marxist "philosophy" is less obvious, but may still often be observed in what they write. At the very least they never deny it. One might say that people like this are the last Marxists left in the world as they hold to and utilize Marxist economics in a fully consistent and comprehensive way that no Marxist government ever did and that very few Marxists who claim the label do today. They differ from the conventional Marxist familiar to anybody unlucky enough to suffer through classes in the social sciences by actually using Marxist economics rather than giving it lip service and also in rejecting Marxist politics, not just the examples of it present in Marxist parties, ruling or otherwise, but the speculations and actions of Marx himself that set the tone for what Marxism was later to develop into. No doubt they would claim that their politics are as truly Marxist as their economics are, but they would be on rather shaky ground in this claim. The situationists were an example of this sort of left-communism, using Marxist economic categories to describe other aspects of life far from the factory gate. Sometimes using them as metaphors that were stretched rather thin from the perspective of an outside observer.

In their rejection of the politics of Marx left communists typically reject not just the concept of the 'Party' but pretty well anything else in the way of organization. that can exist for a period of time in non-revolutionary situations. The sterility of this point of view is pretty obvious. What exactly do you do then besides wait for the revolution- a revolution that most (but not all) of the left communists believe will be brought about by the impersonal actions of the economy described by Marx ? What is left ? You publish pamphlets and magazines (and now websites). That is actually pretty well all that left communists do as left communists. Many (most ?) are also active in many other aspects of social struggle, but they do this while checking their beliefs at the meeting hall door. No doubt that everybody in the whole world compromises, but in no other sane political tendency is the contrast between the ideology and the reality so dramatic. You really have to travel into insanity, such as primitivism, to get a greater contrast.
Left communists of course often (usually?) recognize that they have backed themselves into a corner with their descriptions of reality and criticisms of other methods of action in the here and now. Thus it is that they gradually shade into other political tendencies that are close to them in either ideology or tactics. 'Councilism" , also known as "council communism", goes a bit beyond the purest left communists is that they posit that there has been an alternative, the 'Workers' Councils' that have been thrown up in various revolutionary situations over the past century and a half. They see themselves as propagandists for this form of organization even though it cannot exist in the present except under an unstable condition of dual power. In Molly's opinion the councilists' idealize this form of organization. It has been at its best and purest in situations where it sprang by an almost virgin birth in societies in which everyday workers' organizations devoted to resistance have been reduced to practical nonexistence. Hungary 1956 and Poland 1980 spring to mind. Examples of this type show an invariable trend towards naivety and making the sort of ideological compromises that end up destroying the movement by co-option to the state- if the councils are not defeated militarily first. In other revolutionary situations where the ordinary people have long standing traditions of socialist resistance and organization, even maintaining their organizational coherence underground the councils become the theatre of factional struggle. The Russian Revolution is a prime example of this as was the post WW1 strike movement in Italy. In the Spanish Revolution the organizational tradition was so strong that the councilist phase was virtually bypassed entirely, except perhaps in the federations of rural communes, as the various factions signed deals with each other and avoided the whole idea of elected delegates. Council communists are also generally Marxist in economics, but they are nowhere near as focused on it as pure left communists. Some groups that evolved out of this tradition such as Socialisme ou Barbarie in France or Solidarity in Britain pretty well abandoned all of Marxism, becoming more libertarian socialist than left communist. But this is another long story.
Travelling in other directions left communism fades into the sort of libertarian socialism held by groups generally described as 'De-Leonist'. For the uninitiated (99.99999999% of the world's population) this is a form of anti-state socialism that believes in building a political party that will capture the state and then as its first and only act abolish the state, turning its administrative functions over to federations of industrial unions and local communities. This plan of action was set forward by the American socialist Daniel DeLeon in the late 19th and early 20th century and had an early, but temporary, vogue in the IWW after its foundation in 1909. Don't ask me how this would work. I'm merely describing it. The party that DeLeon founded, the Socialist labour party is pretty well much a a dead letter and has been for decades. For as long as Molly has been an anarchist (over 35 years now) anything that she has seen the SLP do is more in the line of trying to tear itself apart over the fine print of statements that have a negative chance of ever reaching more than 100 people, let alone influencing anybody. The general idea that DeLeon advocated was taken up with more success by the Socialist Party of Great Britain, though this also reduced itself to a tiny rump by a belly button lint picking obsession with having the "correct theory". Any Deleonist party worthy of the name also obsesses with the purity of its Marxism, but hardly to the extent that regular left communists do. Nor with anywhere near the same level of creativity that left communists, free as their small groups are from sectarian infighting, are able to apply.
While the movement with the name has become a tiny sect the general ideas advanced by DeLeon live on, divorced from the Marxist theology that they were embedded in. The general idea of "capturing the state by elections to abolish the state" is probably more popular today than it ever was. Actually more popular than a consistent anarchism Molly is sad to admit. The idea of "libertarian municipalism" as formulated by Murray Bookchin and his collaborators is a variation on this, though it is more libertarian because it restricts it efforts of capture to the local municipality. The whole social democratic trend, whether with or without revolutionary rhetoric-such as in Venezuela today, that borrows from the anarchist toolbox the ideas of popular assembly socialism and self management is merely a reformulation of DeLeonism without the moral consistency of the founder. The theory is that self-management, both by workers and by communities can be promoted by state actions while at the same time offering positions of control to the state and party functionaries that are the directors of this process of liberation (old buzz word) or empowerment (new buzz word). Molly is not a Marxist, but if she was she would say that this is the sort of thing that the rhetorical phrase "contradiction" really and truly applies to.
Another direction that left communists lean towards when they actually want to do something is vanguardism. These are people who believe that it is both necessary and desirable to build a vanguard sect to push the inevitable revolution a little bit forward. Sort of Leninism without the state or at least without the stated goal of building the sort of dictatorship that the Bolsheviks built. Once more I merely describe, not justify. The primary exponent of this sort of plan today in the International Communist Current, though there are others. At its best this sort of cadre building idea shades towards the more extreme section of the neo-platformist current in anarchism. At its worst...well I'll leave that to your imagination. These sort of people have perhaps an equal attachment to exegesis from Das Capital as regular left communists do- hence their attraction to many in this milieu when they look for something to actually do. But they are hardly anywhere as creative or attentive to the details of ordinary workers' lives.
Then, of course, there are the "insurrectionists". These are really a current within contemporary anarchism. If they are Marxist at all it is merely for the "show off" factor of false erudition. These people share the left communist distrust of organization that goes beyond the immediate and informal, hence the confusion that sometimes exists in describing left communism as "insurrectionist". Where they differ is in their elitism. Taking their cue from a certain brain dead section of anarchist history, a tendency that was always a minority and has been rejected over the years as the movement grew, they believe that only "exemplary actions" are needed to propel some sort of spontaneous explosion from the people. A people that they usually express endless contempt for. These people are vanguardists without the party. They usually express sympathy for acts of terrorism, petty or otherwise. Despite all their faults, left communists exude an aura of sympathy for the ordinary person and their struggles. They see the germs of action for a new society in the actions of ordinary workers, not in the masochistic posturing of some militant elite. Even at their most strident they hardly ever exude the sort of amoralism that "insurrectionists" do. No...they don't have the Stalin in the soul.
So, left communism is a particular philosophical trend on the margins of anarchism today. It actually has a lot to say that is of great value. As should be apparent from the above Molly's own sympathies lie with those left communists who travelled through councilism to a non-Marxist libertarian socialism. This, however, may be only of historical and philosophical interest, not a question that has any practical consequences today. As I said above left communists usually leave their more extreme ideology at the door, and tend to be much more reliable comrades in struggle than adherents of many other views. Someone who has watched the development of anarchism in the USA over the past few decades may form the opinion that left communism, particularly in its situationist version, is responsible for some of the kookier and less savoury aspects of anarchism in that country. I disagree. Sure you can trace a path from situationism to neo-situationism to primitivism and thence to "post-leftist anarchism" or "post-anarchism" or whatever these people may adopt as the flavour of the day. But this is the same as saying that everything in Stalinism is contained in Marx or that syndicalism and socialism lead inevitably to fascism ala Mussolini. No...history is not that linear. Much depends on specific historical contexts in specific countries. Chance also has a role to play. Without situationism, primitivism in the USA would have found its natural home as a religious cult. But this ideology was developed in the USA under particular conditions such as the absence of a viable socialist or anarchist movement that actually could do something. It also had the fortune to gain the adherence of a tiny number of people of not great but relative ability. The first was necessity. The second was chance.
Well, this screed has certainly expanded and strayed far from the original news report. Never let it be said that Molly doesn't put her own spin on the news. I recognize that the above, long as it is, is incomplete and contains errors. It is merely the effort of one person who has had enough experience to judge to put some rather confusing terms into a comprehensible framework. As I said these terms fade into each other. They are not simple either/or categories, but they represent political positions that are at least "intellectually convenient" to separate as "poles of attraction in a chaotic landscape". Without this sort of effort at categorization there is nothing left but a big mental mush---and a practice that is informed by nothing more than fashion and personal pressure. Clarity is a virtue.