This analysis of the current insurrectional movement in Sudan by Sudanese anarchists, echoes another analysis that we wrote 20 years ago, following the uprising in Argentina.
The multiplication of movements in the world which « shatter the old ideological molds by putting into practice two new assets (which will henceforth be those of the international class struggle): direct democracy, the rejection of state institutions« , ie Assemblyism as well as the rejection of representativeness and spectacle, far from Western post-modernism so fashionable in university circles. All this rejoice the anarchosyndicalists that we are !
Whatever the outcome of this movement, the revolutionaries of Sudan and first and foremost our fellow Anarchists friends have already initiated an irreversible process of cultural and ideological transformation of Sudanese society.
Some companions from CNT-AIT France
PS: on-going solidarity campaign with the insurgents in Sudan: http://cnt-ait.info/2022/01/01/solidarity-sudan/
Anarchist tendencies in the Sudanese revolution)
I was listening to Al Jazeera interviewing several men about the events in Sudan. The man who represented the voice of the Al-Burhan group said the demonstrations were not peaceful. The only evidence he gave to support his claim was the participation of anarchists in rallies.
This claim was a display of ignorance and lies from the apologies of political philosophy who, a few days ago, claimed the leaders of the Sudanese Communist Party were the ones who raised anarchist flags and slogans.
Anarchists do not have a unified view of the use of violence to achieve revolutionary goals. Some of them believe that the state and the capitalist system can only be overthrown by resistance with violent tools, and there are groups of them who are good at breaking windows and cars and setting fires, and they have been involved in famous assassinations throughout history.
But many of the lights and pioneers of anarchist thought advocated peaceful means and opposed the use of violent means. Notable anti-violent anarchists include – to name a few – Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Henry Clark-Bertrand Russell, a close associate of the anarchists, and the glorified novelist Leo Tolstoy who has argued that anarchism has a duty to be non-violent because it is, by definition, opposed to coercion and power relations. Because the state is violent by nature, purposeful pacifism must be similarly anarchist.
Many pacifist anarchists were influenced by the philosophies of Henry David Thoreau and their ideas crystallized in a school called pacifist anarchism, a school of thought that advocates the use of nonviolent and nonviolent forms of resistance in the struggle for social change and rejects the principle of violence, which it views as a form of power (authority) thus conflict with major anarchist ideals such as the rejection of hierarchy and domination.
The betrayal of the revolution by the Sudanese armed movements and the people of southern Sudan was not a surprise to any anarchist, although it embarrassed the spectrum of liberals and leftists who had previously supported them. It is certain that the Sudanese revolution currently raging (instinctively unconsciously) adopted a strong anarchist line even before the appearance of anarchist flags in the streets of Sudanese cities.
Just to give one example, the Revolutionary Committees and the Neighborhood Committees, which are the beating heart of the revolution, follow the best anarchist traditions of organization. Anarchists have always called for independent and decentralized revolutionary committees (cells). While anarchists hold that such committees must always coordinate and cooperate closely, they must avoid creating a centralized hierarchical leadership.
The absence of a hierarchy between committees and a central, gripping body is what distinguishes anarchist principles of organization from other schools of socialism. The reason anarchists reject central authority is their basic belief that power in itself, in any form, is the main source of evil in society and that betrayal lies in the DNA of power, and for this reason they avoid producing authoritarian or hierarchical relationships in their organizations and collective efforts to change.
Another reason anarchists reject central authority is their belief that centralism weakens and stifles revolutionary impulse and makes the organization brittle, meaning that it is easy or at least possible for the enemy to undermine revolutionary efforts by bribing, intimidating, imprisoning, or even killing leaders: hit the head and the body dies or becomes paralyzed for a while or longer. Forever.
The anarchist tendency made it difficult [for the Power] to defeat the Sudanese revolution and confused Al-Dish, Al-Kayzan, Al-Damaji, Al-Khawaja and Al-Qahteen. Among the neighborhood committees or revolutionary committees, there are no leaders who can be bought, intimidated, or imprisoned to paralyze the energy of the street. It is precisely for this reason that the government did not resort to large-scale arrests to suppress the revolution, as it knows that arresting hundreds or thousands of people will not stop the revolution, and there is no indispensable person among the revolutionaries to thank Gelkin or a protective father or a modernist imam with a gift that the nation will go astray in his absence and die.
Anarchists believe that empirical evidence supports their theoretical concept of the best way to organize. They state that the most successful revolutions in modern history have followed the anarchist decentralization tradition of avoiding a centralized or hierarchical leader or presidency. The most successful revolutions in modern history avoided centralization and hierarchical structures, including the black movement for civil rights in the United States, which changed race relations not only in America but throughout the world at large.
The same applies to the feminist revolution that changed history and society and had no leader, no papa (sorry no mama), no center, no presidency, no holy cow. It is worth noting that the civil rights and feminist movements were completely peaceful, and pacifism did not stand as an obstacle to their changing the course of human history.
But dialectically speaking, it is the decentralized nature of anarchist organization that makes revolution rich, vibrant and difficult to defeat, but it also presents difficult and dangerous coordination challenges in the absence of which it is difficult to maximize the fruits. It is important to have active and close cooperation between these hundreds of committees to coordinate the work of the resistance and formulate a clear positive agenda and map realistically to its realization. This need for close coordination to set short-term goals and to think about how to achieve them needs the attention and attention of the committees of this wonderful revolution. The bottom line is that the foundations of the anarchist organization reject centralism, but encourage the revolutionaries to network and establish solid mechanisms for coordinating revolutionary action under a collective leadership that is subject to immediate accountability from its bases in each committee.
It is possible to achieve this by selecting delegates for each committee to contact the delegates of the other committees, so that delegates of the city (Khartoum) emerge from them to network with the delegates of the other cities (Omdurman and Bahri) and so on in order to reach a national federal body covering all the cities and villages of Sudan.