Information Bulletin – Special Covid19 SRAS2 – Health and care Workers

The Coronavirus pandemic affects all countries and will have an impact – direct or indirect – on the lives of billions of people. It is important despite the crises we are going through to keep our critical mind, to try to understand how we got into this situation, how to cope, and how to imagine solutions for after the crisis.

IWA is the International Workers Association. It brings together worldwide workers, gathered into national sections, who recognize themselves in the principles, tactics and purposes of anarchosyndicalism. We want to contribute to this necessary work of collective critical reflection about the situation.

By this bulletin, we have gathered texts produced by IWA sections, or groups we feel close to, who are active in the health and care sector. It emerges from these articles that overall the situation is the same everywhere: lack of means, lack of training, staff sacrificed by an unpreparedness of the health services which have been destroyed for several years in the name of managerial efficiency and financial profitability. Today we see the effectiveness of these restructurings … otal havoc … This disorganization and even this chaos are not the fruit of chance, they are not due to anarchists, they are the result of the combined action of the State and Capitalism. To save humanity, we have no choice but to organize collectively to put an end to the state and capitalism.

If you wish to continue receiving this newsletter, contact your AIT section in your country (contact list is on http://iwa-ait.org) or the AIT secretariat: secretariado@iwa-ait.org

« Anarchy is the highest expression of Order. « (E RECLUS)

Let’s finish with the Chaos of State and Capitalism!

Download : AIT-travailleurs-santé en

CONTENT

– Care worker organising in a pandemic (Sol Fed, UK, 2020-04-10)    2

– War triage, containment and the role of the working class (CNT-AIT, Spain, 2020-04-03)    3

– Careworkers: Cannon fodder to the coronavirus? (SolFed, UK, 2020-04-08)    4

– In front of the current folly, we oppose experience. Statement from the CNT-AIT Madrid’s Health Section (CNT-AIT, Spain, 2020-03-28)    6

– Professional elections are not protective for unionists, they are a lure and a trap ! No to repression against workers in Health sector ! (CNT-AIT, France, Spain, 2020-04-07)    8

– Even (and especially) during a crisis, Direct action get the goods !  (CNT-AIT, France, 2020-04-07)    9

– Care workers are not soldiers! (CNT-AIT, France, 2020-04-05)    9

– Mutual aid in action: IWA sections exemples of concrete solidarity (BASF-IWA Bangladesh, ZSP-IWA Poland, March 2020)        10

– This System is Making Us Sick (IWA Secretariat, 2020-03-16)    10

– Workers Autonomous Confederation of Bulgaria position in connection with the Global pandemia and introductoin of the emergency state (ARC, Bulgaria, 2020-03-13)    12

– Coronavirus : while politicians chitchat, workers are suffering ! (CNT-AIT, France, 2020-03-08)

In  French : http://cnt-ait.info/2020/05/01/bulletin-ait/

En Español : http://cnt-ait.info/2020/05/08/boletin/

We are against all religions, including Islam.. Interview with « A union of anarchists of Iran and Afghanistan »

(text sent by http://asranarshism.com/ of their interview with Pramen website. French version here)

Your community is called « A union of anarchists of Iran and Afghanistan ». What moved you to unite particulary between these two countries ? Geographical proximity ? Absence of language barrier ? Transparent border between countries ? Common history ?

“1. Since anarchism is a politics against borders and states, when it comes to Iran and Afghanistan, they are names given to the two regions, not to justify the existence of these borders or states, but because our struggles and revolutionary demands are universal and not specific to particular areas. The reason for the union of anarchists in Iran and Afghanistan is sharing a common language among comrades, and associations between anarchists in the two regions.”

(text  sent by http://asranarshism.com/ of their interview with Pramen website. French version here)

Your community is called « A union of anarchists of Iran and Afghanistan ». What moved you to unite particulary between these two countries ?  Geographical proximity ?  Absence of language barrier ?  Transparent border between countries ?  Common history ? 

“1. Since anarchism is a politics against borders and states, when it comes to Iran and Afghanistan, they are names given to the two regions, not to justify the existence of these borders or states, but because our struggles and revolutionary demands are universal and not specific to particular areas. The reason for the union of anarchists in Iran and Afghanistan is sharing a common language among comrades, and associations between anarchists in the two regions.”

2. Generally, here in Eastern Europe we do not know about Iran and Afghanistan a lot. The public opinion is formed by the mainstream media. And for Iran the main narrative is nuclear program, sanctions and periodical riots. For Afghanistan – drug trafficking and war. But we really do not know much about how working people live there. Could you tell as more as you can on these issues: social problems, social movements, nuances of mentality and social-political organization  ?

“2. In Iran and Afghanistan, the anarchist movement is new and is in the process of developing. Over the past few years more and more young people have come to anarchism, and while the feminist, anti-capitalist, labour, student, child rights, refugee rights, environmental, and animal liberation movements have grown significantly in recent years—but the antifascist movements in the two regions are still very weak. In Afghanistan there is no broad anarchist movement, however anarchism is growing there. Religion and patriarchy are still a problem in Afghan society, although these problems also exist in Iran, because the Islamic Republic makes it its mission to spread oppressive structures, but there is a part of society consciously opposing it. The Islamic Republic advocates for a reactionary Islamic tradition, but the people stand against it and oppose government propaganda.”

3. When did the anarchist movements is Iran and Afghanistan emerged ?  Where did it stem from ?

“3. The first anarchist publication in Farsi began 42 years ago in the diaspora. In 1977, two years before the Islamic Republic of Iran, there were several anarchist publications outside of Iran that continued to be disseminated for years; but since they were only published abroad, they did not effect events inside Iran and did not have any influence until the re-emergence of the left in the university by anarchist students in 2007. Nine years ago we started our anarchist organizing as a group overseas by publishing numerous anarchist blogs and activities on Facebook and elsewhere. More than five years ago, we created the site Asr Anarshism and in 2018 three anarchist groups—one in Afghanistan, one in Iran, and Asr Anarshism (Afghan & Iranian comrades in the diaspora)—formed the Anarchist Union of Iran and Afghanistan. Soon after, anarchists joined the Union from two cities in Iran, and recently another anarchist collective that is in Iran and abroad joined.”

 4. Please tell particularly about your group. We are interested in your activities, plans, organizational structure and, of cause, the experience of facing repressions.

“4. One of our campaigns focuses on Soheil Arabi, an anarchist prisoner who was first sentenced to death because of his Facebook posts and has been in jail since 2013 and was tried three times while in prison, sentenced to: death and three years in prison in 2014, then commuted to two years in 2015. Soheil should have been released a year ago, but is still in prison and has been on several hunger strikes, which clearly highlights severe repression. The Anarchist Union of Iran and Afghanistan has also published a 5-part magazine titled « The Torments and Memories of Anarchists in Iran », in which you will find significant lessons. 

In our activity as an anarchist network, we have 44 pages in social media. So far, several of our anarchist comrades in the Union have been taken to jail and severely tortured for their activities and struggles. Naturally, our activities in Iran and Afghanistan are not public, and because of widespread repression in Iran and dangers that anarchist activists face in Iran and Afghanistan, we cannot specifically mention our activities, but anarchist comrades are active in all the Iranian liberatory movements—and anytime there were demonstrations our comrades participated and were suppressed, imprisoned and tortured. In most cases, the regime did not know they are anarchists.”

5. What is your relationships with the other political parties and organizations ?

“5. From an anarchist perspective, no political party is legitimate, and any hierarchical organization and strives for power is an enemy. Since the Islamic Republic currently holds power and political organizing is a crime, we have a common enemy in the Islamic Republic and therefore we do not fight the other opposition forces and parties.”

6. Did you ever hear about Belarus and political regime here ?  What are your associations regarding it ?  And what are, you your opinion, is general notion about Belarus for the common citizen of Iran\Afghanistan ?

“6. About one-fifth of Belarusian land is still affected by the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant explosion. Belarus has an agreement with Ukraine that most of this area is in an Exclusion Zone. The strategic position of Belarus to the North of Ukraine and the West of Russia can be very important. Since independence from the Soviet Union, Belarus has faced a dictatorial regime for about twenty five years; however, due to censorship of the media, little information is disseminated from Belarus, but with a careful analysis of the situation we are aware that Belarus has many political prisoners, even some who have been jailed or imprisoned for photography. Belarussian dictatorial regime will be condemned to annihilation, although the regime is fully supported by Russia. Solidarity with comrades struggling in Belarus.”

7. Your region is presented by the media as an area of constant ethnic and religious conflicts. What is your position regarding Islam, Christianity ?  Do you have comrades who are believers ?  What is your political perspective and possible tools for fightning ethnic and sectarian tensions ?

 “7. The Middle East is not the only region in the world that suffers from ethnic, economic and religious tensions, but the abundance of oil in this region has led to governments disrupting it by fomenting these disputes. We are against all religions, including Islam. At the moment, the most important tool to deal with such tensions are the efforts to raise awareness and self-organize our communities, which we are working intensively to do. One of the most important issues in Iran and Afghanistan is dehydration, and over the course of 40 years, the Islamic Republic’s rule has destroyed Iran ecologically and many of its lakes and rivers have dried up. Only 1.8% of Iran is in its natural state and does not face an environmental crisis.”   

8. Maybe you want to add something ?  You are welcome to say anything on other issues. 

“8. In the end, we would like to thank you for this interview and if there are any other topics that interest you, please ask us more questions. We will also send questions to you after the publication of this interview to learn more information about the lives of people and anarchists in Belarus and your region. Finally, that the Anarchist Union is present in nine other countries outside of Afghanistan and Iran, and one Morocan anarchist comrade also works with the Asr Anarshism site and publishes Arabic content and besides Arabic and Persian, we publish all languages on Asr Anarshism. We hope that this interview will be the beginning of joint activities between us.”

Thanks, the Anarchist Union of Iran and Afghanistan

=================== 

I am translating your interview right now and inspired by your braveness ! Could you please give us some photos of Soheil Arabi and, maybe, some photos which may represent your group ?  Maybe with covered faces or smth, to be secure for you. Just to illustrate the article while publishing.

—————–

 Hello comrades, we can shear some photos of Soheil Arabi with you but about the photos of our collective, it’s not possible because we are almost in 11 countries and it’s so dangerous for our comrades in Iran to send or have any photos. We hope that you will understand our issue

 ——————–

 It is OK, we understand everything.  We know Rojava, but what is DFNS ?  Explain the abbreviation please.

 ——————–

 Hey comrades. 

DFNS is the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, which is the autonomous region, which since September 2018, it has been called « Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria ». It is more inclusive term because there are Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians and Armenians among others. Rojava is the Kurdish word for Western Kurdistan.

AEROSPACE WORKER: TO PRODUCE YES BUT FOR WHOM? AND WHY?

Pandemic continues to ravage the world. All are affected, old, young, cashiers, doctors. Even current deputies or former ministers … The President of the Republic was very clear: we are at war, and to win this war you must stay at home. The State will pay in full those who take shelter.

Yes but here, again, the political word are bullshit. We are told that to govern is to foresee: they have been incapable of planning to stock up on masks, tests, drugs that would have helped to stem the spread of the disease. When Macron had promised that all workers who don’t work would be paid whatever the cost, he hadn’t foreseen the consequences.

Result, now that they have done their calculations, they no longer want to assume the cost of their improvisation, and it is us that they ask to assume the risks of their stupidity by paying with our health and maybe our life, while going back to work.

Employees of the aerospace industry, we therefore received emails from our dear HR managers who beg us to return to work to save the company. Their main argument? Excerpt from the email we received: « Even if the State communicates about paying your earning while you are under Job retention Scheme, it is the company that will have to advances wages and we are not sure that we will be reimbursed by the State ». In other words, because the bosses do not trust the state to fulfill its promises, we are asked to avoid the hole in the business’s assets created by Job retention and we have to take all the risks!

To try to reassure us, the bosses are fawning. They describe to us all the good measures they have put in place for us: disinfectant, hydro alcoholic gel, daily sanitation disinfection tour, working groups in small numbers, protocol for respecting safety distances, wearing a mask if necessary… So many nice concerns to get us back to work. On the other hand, not a word on the installation of hand washers with non-manual control, which alone would prevent transforming the taps into a source of re-contamination of the hands…

To support their request, the bosses join us a letter signed by three ministers, Lemaire [economy], Pénicaud [work] and Véran [Health] who are crying « it is crucial that the production factories can continue to work on French territory ». A letter from ministers of the very State whose boss himself tells us that he is not sure that it will keep their promises…

#STATE_MURDERER  # UNIONS_TRAITORS

As the HR managers are not completely stupid and know that we only have moderate confidence in the word of the State and its representatives, to finish reassuring us they join us a letter signed by the Unions (CFE-CGC, CFDT and FO metals) and confirm that an “extraordinary Joint Consultative Committee (CSE) has given a favorable opinion on the back-to-work under the conditions that we have defined together”. In other words, the Unions have agreed with the bosses on how we are going to be exploited. When we tell you that Unions are there to discuss the length of our chains or the thickness of the mask, this is confirmed once again!

Let us be clear: it is not that we are against creating or producing goods, nor that the risk scares us. But even if it means endangering our health and that of our families, we want it to be USEFUL, for everyone. In the current pandemic and stopped world economy, what is the meaning and the usefulness of working « as usual »? We agree to go back to work despite the risk, but to produce medical equipment, respirators, hospital beds, masks, and disinfectant, in short, things that are really necessary and socially useful. Will AIRBUS and its subcontractors continue to manufacture and mount military equipment?

It is we, the workers, who produce all the wealth. It is we who collectively have the power to stop this madness in the first place by refusing to work through withdrawal or a general strike, and then by taking over the production tools and making it work for the collective good.

OUR LIVES ARE WORTH MORE THAN THEIR PROFITS!

CNT-AIT ‘s workers of aerospace industry

contact [at] cntaittoulouse.lautre.net – http://cntaittoulouse.lautre.net
Facebook: @ cnt.ait.toulouse / @ chats.noirs.turbulents

#CORONAVIRUS: WHILE POLITICIANS CHITCHAT, WORKERS ARE SUFFERING!

To date, unlike what happened with H1N1 in 2009, many of us healthcare workers have not received our endowment of FFP2 masks needed to treat patients. While the state had two months to build up reserves of these much-needed protections, it seems it has done nothing.

A practitioner explains: « Not shaking hands with our patients is insufficient, will not protect us from contamination by air, it should be understood that the shortage of FFP2 masks can quickly lead to the shortage of caregivers, by their quarantine, with the consequences that this implies. « .

Obviously, the budgetary choices have been made, on the one hand, the State have enough budget for organizing summits, meetings and even a State National Security Council, intended to divert and deceive the people, on the other, the State leaves health workers unprotected.

SHORTAGE OF FFP2 MASKS and PHASE 3 OF THE #CORONAVIRUS EPIDEMIC

As we indicated last Saturday, the stocks essential for the protection of workers do not exist, Health Ministers Buzyn and Veran lied to us and are still lying to us. The few million masks that will be distributed are surgical masks that do not protect against contamination.

The transition to Phase 3 is the referral of coronavirus patients out of the hospital that will be overwhelmed towards the city. Doctors and nurses will have to work unprotected with hypercontagious patients, the right to opt-out is ethically impossible for them.

To the politicians who run the administrations, who lay down standards that are as absurd as they are useless, we have only one word to say: Bastards ! On the other hand, the stocks of rubber bullets and grenades, that have been used by thousands against the Yellow vests, are full …. On June 16, 2019, the French government was able to anticipate with sufficient time to order 25 million assault rifle cartridges and 40,000 anti-riots grenades, to be delivered for early 2020. Obviously, the State does not have the same priorities as the population

Other workers in public transport, hypermarkets, etc. must ask their employers for fully-paid hourly breaks to wash their hands, hydroalcoholic gel if necessary, and adequate masks or otherwise exercise their right to opt-out.

RIGHT TO OPT-OUT

The absence of collective or individual protective equipment legitimizes the recourse to the right of employees to opt-out : Article L4131-1 of the French labor code stipulates that

« The worker immediately alerts the employer to any work situation which he has reasonable grounds to believe presents a serious and imminent danger to his life or health and to any defect which he finds in the protection systems. He can withdraw from such a situation.

The employer may not ask the worker, who has made use of his right of withdrawal, to resume his activity in a work situation where a serious and imminent danger persists, resulting in particular from a defective protection system. « 

CNT-AIT Health care workers

CNT-AIT (International Workers Association)

contact@cnt-ait.info

http://cnt-ait.info
http://cntaittoulouse.lautre.net

FB: @ chats.noirs.turbulents / @cnt.ait.toulouse

Leaflet : CORONAVIRUS-en

TRADITIONS OPPRESS WOMEN

A society based on human exploitation needs a rigorous sexual order. The status of women in a society is a fundamental element of the analysis of the political context; and women’s status is inseparable from the weight which is given in the community to traditions and religions. This obviousness is often « forgotten » today. Indeed, even in circles that think themselves to be progressive, even in the libertarian milieu, which nonetheless pretends to be feminist and anti-patriarchal, the heaviest conservatisms have corrupted discourses and thoughts (1).Certainly, reactionnaries did it skillfully. They no longer express themselves according to the old rhetoric, « Work, family, homeland ». They camouflage themselves behind new clothes and take the disguises of « regionalism », of the defense « of the native peoples », of that of the concept of « customs » when it is not « respect » for « certain religious traditions » or even “decolonialization”… A detour through history will help us understand the issues. That of the Russian Revolution is particularly enlightening from this point of view. In his book « The Unknown Revolution « , a work of the greatest interest, russian anarchist Voline shows us how, during the Russian Revolution of 1917, more than three centuries of oppression have been suddenly swept away by the total break with the ideology of power and by the deconsecration of the tsar (the Russian emperor).

The ideological starting point of the tsarist regime can be found during the reign of Ivan the Forth “the Terrible” (1547-1584). It was he who introduced the crucial notion for tsarism regime, that which founds absolutism, the notion « of divine right ». To this purpose, Ivan the Forth was supported by the Orthodox religion and its clergymen. From this period, the Tsar, the emperor of all the Russias took on a sacred character and became the depositary of the divine word … So nobody could contest him, as it would had been contesting God himself … It would exposed you to death with no appeal.

The revolution of February 1917 will mark in a grandiose manner the end point of this belief. Between the two extreme dates (1547 / 1917), mentalitie are under the domination of the dogmas of the Orthodox church – pillar of autocratic power – and evolve slowly. Then, from 1825 everything accelerates. A marker of this historic development is the status of women in the Russian society. At the end of the 16th century, whether in the highest spheres of society or among the poor and also the Cossacks, women were subjected to unlimited domination. Religion, which is the pillar of the regime, makes women something like a demon; or to put it simply, an “filthy creature”. This anti-feminine delirium is such that masses of men voluntarily castrate themselves in order to protect themselves from any sexual temptation and live in communities made up entirely of eunuchs.

The consequence of this ideology is that the only alternative for woman is to be locked up or enslaved. In the Russian aristocracy, she lived as a recluse in rooms provided for this purpose. Everywhere else, she is exploited like an animal. The prejudices of the dominant ideology imply that women do not have human status. It should be noted that we find – including in the peasant and Cossack revolts – this lack of recognition which is correlated with the rooting of the legend of the divine origin of the tsar.

When they revolt, the masses are by no means revolutionary: there is basically no break with tradition. This paradox is very notable among the Cossacks. Cossacks define themselves as « free men »; they are at the forefront of many rebellions; they are organized in a kind of « general assembly meetings ». But these Cossack assemblies are made up entirely of men, and the decisions made about women are simply heinous. Such a woman suspected of adultery is dragged by the hair to the center of the assembly by the husband who feels ridiculed, and if no man wants her and defends her, she is sewn alive in a bag and thrown away in the Volga river. It is also in the Volga that Stenka Razine, another leader of the rebels, will get rid of his concubine in order to maintain the respect of the troops and to remain their Ataman, their leader.

The first notable creaks in this ideological construction occur at the top of the Power structure, in particular during the struggle of Princess Sophie for the conquest of the throne against her brother, the future Peter the Great. Sophie will end her life in a convent but this fight will have opened the way to a series of tsarines (women russian emperors), of which the most famous, Catherine, will be in the 18th century at the origin of the creation of the Smolny institute for the education of noble young girls.

But everything will accelerate in the middle of the 19th century, parallel to the penetration of revolutionary ideas in the country. We owe to the nihilist movement the appearance of a position of global ideological rupture which will consist in a total rejection of ancestral culture. This movement, which started out as purely intellectual, admitted absolutely nothing of the heritage of the past (« nihil » = nothing). It will be the origin of something radically new : individuals of both sexes will lead the fight for emancipation on an equal footing.

Consequently in the revolutionary groups which will take action against the regime – the populists first, then the socialists and anarchists – women will take their part in the terrible fight which will be waged against despotism. One of them, Sofia Perovskaïa, will take part in the attack of 1881 which will put an end to the life of the tsar Alexander the Second. She will be executed with four of her comrades. This political equality between men and women, which is concretely achieved thanks to this negation of traditions, is a crucial fact. It contains within itself the destruction of the old tsarist world which from that moment is doomed and will not take forty years to crumble.

Gender equality, resulting from an ideological breakthrough work, is an element which measures the penetration of revolutionary culture in a society. This culture has crossed the whole ethnic mosaic of populations who inhabit the vast Russian territory and in revolutionary groups, men and women but also believers and atheists, have have rejected their cultural differences, have rejected the division imposed by the Power: these facts foreshadowed the real unity of the working-class and peasant population, which would be a condition for its passage to direct and massive action from 1905 until the fall of the tsarist tyranny in February 1917.

In the historic moments of struggle against domination, as in Russia from 1880, figures of anonymous or famous women stand out, such as Maria Spiridonova, leader of the Russian revolutionary socialist party, who are only the visible face of a deep awareness. Conversely, the lack of involvement of women in the revolutionary movement, or their marginalization from the social struggle, is an indicator of the prevailing conservatism or of the progress of the reaction.

We find exactly the same symptoms in revolutionary Spain in 1936, with the appearance in the fighting of free and armed working-class women. It is no coincidence that the reactionary campaign for the militarization of the anarchist and revolutionary Militia Columns began with a formal attack on the militia women who fought there. This propaganda touched on a sensitive point of « Native Spanish culture », a point which had not yet been sufficiently annihilated, which is the place of women in society. “Native Spanish culture” is related to machism (which derives from the Spanish word, macho). Thus, in the various medias of the bourgeois, of the communists or of the socialist, one began to treat these militia women of being prostitutes and syphilitics. Then after that « Solidaridad obrera » – the Catalan CNT press organ – had been “recentered”, it could be read in this newspaper identical innuendos in favor of the return to traditional sexual order. And when, in  » Mujeres Libres » (Free Women), the anarchosyndicalist women group, sprang the explicit slogan « Los hombre al frente, las mujeres al trabajo » (“Men at the front, women at work” ) and after which the last militia woman laid down her gun to go home, it can be said that the Spanish Revolution was also over.

The conclusion is simple: no freedom for women without rejection of oppressive traditions!

Nanard

(1) These « ideas » – known as “post-modernism” did not come by themselves but were produced knowingly by US think-tanks to penetrate and destroy ideological adversaries such as anarchists (see the texts from Jordi Vidal for instance).

METHODS OF STRUGGLE – ANARCHOSYNDICALIST TACTICS

A text from the French CNT-AIT written in March 2006, covering anarcho-syndicalist tactics and strategy.

METHODS OF STRUGGLE
Thursday 29th July 2010

The following text was written to help people discover, remind themselves or popularize the various syndicalist methods of struggle because in any battle, one must start from a few key ideas:

Hitting the enemy harder than they can hit you, or better – hitting them so they can’t hit back.

Analysing the power balance:
-How great are our numbers
-How much other workers and the general population will sympathise with or reject our struggle
-What are our financial constraints, ie. financial and material resources available to continue the fight

Avoiding exhaustion: fighting too arduously from the start can be a weakness: the employers are prepared to overcome short term difficulties by transferring production, resuming production in other places, maintaining stocks, using scabs, financial reserves, etc.

Knowing how to stop a fight, avoiding fighting to the end when the situation is unfavourable. A continued minority occupation of a business ends up offering the boss discontented people who can he can turn against the strikers. Wages lost become so great that resuming a struggle becomes difficult. Disillusionment makes mobilisation harder.

Allowing for a return to the struggles or demands.

Analysing the history, strategy, and objectives of the forces in play: Bosses/workers: (moderate or hardline employers, combative or passive employees) Organisation/struggles (whether the unions are weak or radical, if the fights benefit from autonomous experience etc..)

—The fights are defined by the employment category, territorial extent or by their content.—

Employment category: struggles of unskilled workers, skilled workers, postal workers or nurses, white collar workers, teachers, technicians etc … called sectional struggles. If the struggle involves the entire company or institution and deals with claims for all staff, the struggle is industrial.

Territoriality: if the struggle takes place in one particular location of a business, it is a local fight. Example: Visteon.

A fight at the group level is located in several places but within the same company: Example: the postal strikes.

The struggle may be in a sector or industry: examples: the health sector or education sector. The struggle can take place in all business lines and sites.

Content: content of the struggle can be material (wages, pensions, working conditions hours, health and safety), political (changing a law, a critique of anti social policy, gaining new union rights, the formation of worker counter-power within a company…) It can also of course combine the two aspects: for example the simplification and standardisation over grades and qualifications in a given industry. This material claim allows the unification of workers in the same industry and thus open the prospect of larger struggles.

The fight may also simply be held in solidarity with other struggles.

A text from the French CNT-AIT written in March 2006, covering anarcho-syndicalist tactics and strategy.

METHODS OF STRUGGLE
Thursday 29th July 2010

The following text was written to help people discover, remind themselves or popularize the various syndicalist methods of struggle because in any battle, one must start from a few key ideas:

Hitting the enemy harder than they can hit you, or better – hitting them so they can’t hit back.

Analysing the power balance:
-How great are our numbers
-How much other workers and the general population will sympathise with or reject our struggle
-What are our financial constraints, ie. financial and material resources available to continue the fight

Avoiding exhaustion: fighting too arduously from the start can be a weakness: the employers are prepared to overcome short term difficulties by transferring production, resuming production in other places, maintaining stocks, using scabs, financial reserves, etc.

Knowing how to stop a fight, avoiding fighting to the end when the situation is unfavourable. A continued minority occupation of a business ends up offering the boss discontented people who can he can turn against the strikers. Wages lost become so great that resuming a struggle becomes difficult. Disillusionment makes mobilisation harder.

Allowing for a return to the struggles or demands.

Analysing the history, strategy, and objectives of the forces in play: Bosses/workers: (moderate or hardline employers, combative or passive employees) Organisation/struggles (whether the unions are weak or radical, if the fights benefit from autonomous experience etc..)

—The fights are defined by the employment category, territorial extent or by their content.—

Employment category: struggles of unskilled workers, skilled workers, postal workers or nurses, white collar workers, teachers, technicians etc … called sectional struggles. If the struggle involves the entire company or institution and deals with claims for all staff, the struggle is industrial.

Territoriality: if the struggle takes place in one particular location of a business, it is a local fight. Example: Visteon.

A fight at the group level is located in several places but within the same company: Example: the postal strikes.

The struggle may be in a sector or industry: examples: the health sector or education sector. The struggle can take place in all business lines and sites.

Content: content of the struggle can be material (wages, pensions, working conditions hours, health and safety), political (changing a law, a critique of anti social policy, gaining new union rights, the formation of worker counter-power within a company…) It can also of course combine the two aspects: for example the simplification and standardisation over grades and qualifications in a given industry. This material claim allows the unification of workers in the same industry and thus open the prospect of larger struggles.

The fight may also simply be held in solidarity with other struggles.

—The different types of struggle—

Verbal protest : this type of struggle is the most simple.

Petition: a written denunciation, a complaint, expressing a desire, a disapproval. The petition can, sometimes, exert influence to obtain a list of benefits, often illusory, insubstantial or demagogic (designed for political power by appealing to rhetoric). Some unions which do or wish to do little or nothing engage in petitions for an election or to keep their conscience clean.

Walkout: the cessation of activity for a few hours at most. The stoppage expresses a greater dissatisfaction, the birth of a certain radicalisation. The stoppage is used as pressure for negotiations on short term or minor claims. Example: the lack of ventilation or heating, breaks, bonus issues, problems with safety equipment etc.

Partial strike: Workers stopping in rotation. Advantage: minimum loss of wage to individuals whilst the company is practically paralysed and the company still pays its employees who are now less productive or indeed idle. Employers try to put to work non striking employees, supervisors, agency staff or contractors. If this proves insufficient it may close the company for a while, locking workers out rather than paying people to be idle.

Go slow: a reduction in the rate or work to become as unproductive as possible.

Work to rule: excessively strict observance of instructions and regulations which hinders the proper functioning of the work.

Limited strike: workers stop working for a specific amount of time.

Indefinite strike: cessation of work by employees until they have resolved the issues in the conflict (or otherwise decide to return) Advantage: expresses a degree of radicalisation, involvement in struggle, blocks all or part of production. Disadvantage: substantial loss of wages for the striking workers. The company may continue production with non striking workers, contracted staff or they may move production to another site.

Picket line: The creation of barriers to prevent non striking workers entering the workplace. The material conditions of pickets are often deplorable: no shelter, being subject to the weather. Some non striking workers sometimes manage to enter the premises or remain inside to ensure continued production.

Occupation: The striking workers occupy the workplace and evacuate all non striking workers. They take control of meeting rooms, canteens, dormitories, copiers, telephones and vehicles.

The internal action: limited to within the company, confined within the institution.

The exterior action: the invasion and occupation of institutions, establishments, administrations or government departments favourable to the employer: the Department for Work and Pensions, courts, city halls, local political offices, newspaper headquarters, the Chamber of Commerce, management’s living quarters, or a company to which production has been moved or which is linked to the conflict.

The fight should seek to obtain the support and collusion of the general public, explain the demands and avoid disturbing other workers and the public where possible.

Local demonstration: It publicises the conflict, popularizes the fight, maintains pressure, helps to assess the balance of power.

National or international demonstration: follows the same rules as local but on a large scale.

Rumours: spread rumours, information of all types to weaken the enemy.

Discredit: make public criticisms of the quality of the products or facilities of the business.

Sabotage: (See “Sabotage” by Emile Pouget) This ancient method of fighting is quick and direct. It is still practised but not publicised. It should be handled by people aware of the risks. Catastrophic destruction can even result in the closure of the company. Perhaps a scale of actions may be made to avoid major problems. Sabotage is very effective, low cost for the strikers whilst very damaging to the employer. Always remember that the action must be harmful to the employers but not to users themselves, eg. utilities, transport, electricity, healthcare, food etc…

Re-appropriation: Recovery and control by workers of goods produced by the company – that is to say produced by the workers themselves.

(Unauthorised) Sale of stock: Selling the company’s stock to build a war chest and compensate workers.

Autonomous production: The strikers use the company’s machines to produce good which can be sold directly to the people at lower cost. This will satisfy everyone and bring funds to the strikers.

Unauthorised work: using their own tools strikers repair, manufacture or provide services to individuals for a fee. The proceeds are put into the strike fund. (Example: hairdressers in Rennes, cut people’s hair in a public square. In Australia the tram drivers ran the trams freely for the population.)

Boycott: On the request of workers struggling in a company people do not buy the products or services provided by that company.

Civil disobedience: refusal to comply with the laws of the state. Eg. To support and assist repressed people. Refusal to pay taxes, refusing to show identification etc.

Generalised strike: A strike situation which affects one or several sectors of production (or commerce) in a region, country or several countries.

General strike: A strike which crosses sectors in a region, country or internationally. It is a conscious and concerted action, which differentiates it from the generalised strike. It is the weapon desired by and defended by anarcho-syndicalists. It is an act by the masses, the population, which is anarcho-syndicalist whether they understand it or not. Indeed, at this stage, people want and intend to fight and challenge their adversaries. They do not rely upon governmental elections, or promises for the future, to effect reform. The people struggle, here and now, relying on direct action, intend to resolve their demands. The general strike expresses the conflict of opposed classes clearly. If it is large, the balance of power is favourable and new choices may appear.

The insurrectionary general strike: for various reasons the strikers form barricades, create disorder and riots. Everywhere the people rise up in arms, opening the prospect of the expropriation of the capitalists.

The expropriatory general strike: the strikers, masters of the street, seize the means of production, exchange and communication. Businesses, commerce, governments are under the control of the committees of struggle. This is the prelude to a profound social change which, in our opinion, will lead to libertarian communism.

—Some Advice—

A number of techniques of struggle from syndicalist history and practise have been presented. It is necessary for everyone to judge their usefulness. Each technique must match the stake. It is not necessary to deploy heavy means for a small gain. Example: for a small struggle, walkouts, partial strikes, go-slows and work to rule are sufficient.

After applying a technique, evaluate it. If it proves to be insufficient, graduate to a more radical method. Always keep the pressure applied. Starting at too high a level and stepping back may expose, or be considered to be, weakness which the enemy can take advantage of.

Beware of false radicals: consider whether those who spread radicalism are sincere or not (even if they are right at that moment in what they say). There are those who come forward and push for unsuitable conflict, they try to play hard in order to stick with and gain the trust of the strikers, eventually to do away with the movement or kill the fight, or knowing that defeat is assured, they wish to capitalise on the trust they have gained in an election. If they are in collusion with the enemy, they will start a tough and ultimately doomed struggle which will weigh heavily when the boss attacks later (with restructuralisation, redundancies, etc.), because the previous defeat will make it hard for the workers to fight back.

Analyse the relationships of power: for example, upcoming union or political elections which will pressure the powers that be to avoid conflict.

Analyse the level of public discontent, and the financial and economic situation at the company where the strike action is to occur.

Analyse the status of stock held by the company, if they have large amounts the employers will continue to sell their products whilst simultaneously reducing their payroll due to the strike. In contrast, low levels of stocks, or perishable stocks will disadvantage the employers a great deal. Note that after the strike the employer may attempt to force increased overtime work in order to make up for losses suffered during the strike and catch up on delayed orders.

Review the status of upcoming orders, the extent of financial reserves, possibilities for transferring production to other locations. We can prepare the ground for a fight by using a combination of techniques such as a go slow, limited strikes, sabotage, work to rule, or absenteeism to reduce production.

Avoid retaliation by ensuring that the identities of those taking action remain unknown. Make sure the employer knows as little as possible about who is who and who does what. Obscure the number of people involved in the conflict, as well as dates and locations of meetings. Agree to actions at the last minute to avoid disclosure.

Opt for a strike committee which is wider than the union branches. The strike committee must emanate from and be directed by the general assembly of the strikers.

Multiply the base of your actions: media, propaganda, finance, independent production and unauthorised work in support. This forces the enemy to draw upon more of their resources to fight the strike.

Apply direct democracy in the general meetings to avoid having a small group seizing control for purposes other than those decided upon by the general assembly. Close attention is required when people advocate a vanguard party or trade union: even if legal it cannot serve the interests of the people. If conspiracies are suspected, or closed meetings, document and report them.

It is useless to send people to negotiate with the boss, the director or the board of directors. Nor is it useful to send staff representatives or ‘experts’ in negotiation. They serve no purpose except make you believe in them, and impose a delegation of responsibility, persuading people of the necessity of reformist unions. The bourgeoisie knows how to use tools to analyse unrest. For example, production slows or quality falls, absenteeism and sabotage increase. The employers will quickly understand that the workers are unhappy, even if they try to deny or hide this. The management knows the grievance and what it will propose to the workers: representatives are useless.

Send to the press, the population and the employer a list of demands signed by the strike committee.

If the employer wants to negotiate or offer to meet some demands, they can make their proposals known through the media, publishing them in the press, by posting a notice or by speaking to the workers at an assembly. The committee will respond in writing. There is no need to send delegates to a negotiation who risk being satisfied with crumbs, or will defend their own ideas instead of remaining with the agenda of demands, especially if they are representatives of a reformist trade union.

Force the opponent to sign an agreement not to engage in repression after the conflict. Require pay for strike days. Try to minimise the financial impact of the conflict for employees, so if the management decided to counter attack, the employees are not weakened and can bring about a new conflict.

With the same thing in mind, raise funds, hold concerts and festivals to gain financial support for the fight. Take action to seek material support for the fight.

—Legalism – Illegalism—

You should stay within the law as far as possible in order to avoid repression. But we should note that the law does not support our interests. Very quickly, workers have to act illegally in order to meet their goals: picketing, occupations, independent production. But we need to analyse calmly the advantages and implications. You’ll quickly discover that the law, legitimised by the state, is not neutral and serves the interests of the bourgeoisie above all.

Based on Bakunin’s idea “Law merely reflects the existing state of affairs backed by force” what we impose will become legal.

—Violence – Non Violence—

The situation doesn’t necessarily have to be one or the other, it could be a largely non-violent struggle with occasional violent incidents, or vice versa.

Sometimes a non violent and determined conflict can be effective, sometimes not. A large well behaved protest can be effective, but a rowdy one can be even more so. It’s a question of context and the choice of the people engaged in the struggle.

However, be cautious about violence and who is provoking it (whether it is the strikers or their opponents).

Anarcho syndicalists are supporters of a world without violence, without weapons: this is our goal. But we also see that aggressive resistance of employees can be legitimate violence against the violence of the bourgeoisie: repression, prisons, exploitation, lay-offs, wars, pollution etc…

—Organising Ourselves—

We must now consider the type of organisation appropriate to the fight. Does the unionist left defend the interests of the workers, or other interests? Does it prepare for the fight, defend it, without introducing models of conciliation and mediation favourable to the bourgeoisie? Does it pacify struggle? Can it be radicalised? Is the legal protection of trade union representatives [élus] effective? Do recognised unions guarantee the protection of union members?

Apparently, given the thousands of union members who have been laid off: no. In any case, recognised or not, protected or not, participating in illegal actions will expose you to lay-offs. So the protection is in this case useless.

Worse, trying to protect themselves through legal means leads the supporters of these methods to comply with laws which are favourable to the employers, to not engage in fights outside the legal framework and therefore to defend the bourgeois legality become counter revolutionary.

Engaging in double talk: having the façade of legality whilst acting illegally, is unsustainable because union officials will be obliged, consciously or unconsciously, to defend the legal framework, strengthening themselves whilst weakening their critics in order to maintain the legal protections they enjoy. Furthermore, when the legal framework protects some individuals it becomes difficult to reject it.

And don’t doubt: if the struggle threatens the bourgeoisie’s position they will ignore the law, and union officials will be left to reflect upon their supposed rights under the law.

An anarcho-syndicalist militant.

Translated for libcom by 888 and cobbler July 2010.

In French / en français : http://cnt-ait.info/2020/06/17/techniques-de-luttes/

In Arabic / العربية : http://cnt-ait.info/2019/10/05/technique-ar

In Portuguese / en portugais : http://cnt-ait.info/2019/06/05/tecnicas-de-luta/

ULAC SMAH ULAC – WE WILL HAVE NO MERCY : THE ALGERIAN UPRISING IS ALSO OURS

Insurgent Algerians,

The struggle that you have been carrying forward against all society’s rulers since April 2001 is an example for us and for all the exploited. Your uninterrupted rebellion has shown that the terrorism of the state and the integralist groups, allied for a decade in the slaughter of the poor to the benefit of the rich, has not lessened your ferocity. You have understood that faced with the infectious disease of military dictatorship and the plague of Islamic fundamentalism, the only choice is open revolt. In the union of two capitalisms, the liberal one that privatizes and fires people in mass and the socialist-bureaucratic one that tortures and kills, you have responded with the unity of a generalized struggle.

Insurgent Algerians,

The struggle that you have been carrying forward against all society’s rulers since April 2001 is an example for us and for all the exploited. Your uninterrupted rebellion has shown that the terrorism of the state and the integralist groups, allied for a decade in the slaughter of the poor to the benefit of the rich, has not lessened your ferocity. You have understood that faced with the infectious disease of military dictatorship and the plague of Islamic fundamentalism, the only choice is open revolt. In the union of two capitalisms, the liberal one that privatizes and fires people in mass and the socialist-bureaucratic one that tortures and kills, you have responded with the unity of a generalized struggle.

Ulac Smah Ulac

We imagine what it means for a state and its police to find themselves facing a mass of rebels whose posters warn : ’You cannot kill us, we are already dead’ as occurred in June 2001.But we can barely imagine what it means for a region with a few million inhabitants, like Kabylia, where the police are barricaded in their barracks, ’quarantined’ by the insurgent population ; in which elections are deserted in mass, the ballot boxes ond the offices of political parties set on fire ; in which the city halls are deserted and boarded up.

The politicians who sit in the parliament with zero votes obtained have revealed the lie of representative democracy and the arrogance of a power that is increasingly mafia-like to all. You have managed to shatter the plans of anyone who tried to give your struggle a regionalist or particularist image.

The universal content of your demands – such as that of the immediate and non-negotiable withdrawal of the police – can no longer be hidden.

The autonomy of your movement, organized horizontally in the aarch (village assemblies), can only unite all the leaders of Algerian society and their accomplices in other countries against you. A revolt without leaders and without parties won’t even find favor among the professionals of international solidarity who are deprived, in this case, of charismatic figures or sub-commandantes to idealize. Up to now, you have only been able to count on yourselves. And the repression presses hard, with hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries, people disabled for life, so many missing, the torture and arrest of many delegates of the aarch and many demonstrators. With prisoners on hunger strike and many insurgents forced to go underground.

Now the radicality of what you have already done finds other accomplices in the world, in order to break the information embargo and the murderous violence of the state. The bullets that strike are also given by the Italian government and Italian industries, Eni in the lead. The weapons that are used against your demonstrations are often of Italian manufacture.

COMRADES, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. MAY YOUR REVOLT EXPLODE EVERYWHERE.

« Some friends of the Aarch »

=====

Translations :

(fr) ULAC SMAH ULAC – PAS DE PARDON : L’INSURRECTION EN ALGERIE EST AUSSI LA NOTRE

(it) ULAC SMAH ULAC – NESSUN PERDONO : L’insurrezione in Algeria è anche la nostra
—–

First publication on http://cnt-ait.info :  lundi 25 août 2003

APOLOGIA FOR THE ALGERIAN INSURRECTION

Quevedo said about Spanish people : « they haven’t been able to be historians but they deserved to be ». This is still right concerning the 1936 Spanish revolution : others have written the history of the events. It’s too early to write the history of the insurrection that started in Algeria during spring 2001, but it’s not too late to defend it ; in other words to fight the deep indifference, puffed up with historic recklessness, as we see it in France.

Quevedo said about Spanish people : « they haven’t been able to be historians but they deserved to be ». This is still right concerning the 1936 Spanish revolution : others have written the history of the events. It’s too early to write the history of the insurrection that started in Algeria during spring 2001, but it’s not too late to defend it ; in other words to fight the deep indifference, puffed up with historic recklessness, as we see it in France.

I

To illustrate the importance and the significance of this uprising, one just need to relate the acts and declarations of the insurgents. Put together according to their most universal and true meaning the facts gives a picture of the situation from which a terrible morality is emerging :

The dignity, the understanding and the courage of the algerian insurgents condemns the abjection in which people of the modern countries are living, their apathy, their petty worries and their sordid hopes.

The young rioters fought police and gendarmerie [military police] forces during several weeks shouting :  » You cannot kill us we are already dead ! « . Treated as half dead by the Algerian society they knew that they had to destroy it to start living. (« Our answer to the nothingness will be to destroy its sire, » declared one of them in July.) Since April 21st, mainly in Kabylie, but also since June 10th in Kenchela (in the Aures), since the 11th in Skikda (north of Constantine) and since the 16th in all the eastern part of the country (at Oum El Bouaghi, Batna, Tebessa, Biskra, El Tarf etc.), they erected barricades, cut roads, assaulted gendarmerie and police stations ; they attacked a prefecture headquarters (in Tebessa, two ministers were inside the building), burned or vandalized many courthouses (in Ouacifs the ’Justice Court’, recently built, was reduced to ashes), some tax offices, post offices and state corporation offices, political parties headquarters (at least thirty two), banks, social security offices, communal parks, etc. The list is of course uncompleted, and even if it were complete, it would only give a vague idea of the scale of the movement.

At least we see that the insurgents undertook to clear the land from all « material expressions of the State ». ( The « Monde Diplomatique » had the civic stupidity to suavely blame the rioters for finishing off the « public services » and the newspaper asked if, by doing so, « the crowd of the castoffs of society » is not participating in « its own weakening« .)

When Peoples are recovering from submission, things that were usually supported are not anymore. After some many other killings committed by police and the military, the murder of the student in Beni Douala, on april 18th , provoked three days later the first riots. In Amizour, near Bejaïa, the population start insurrection on the 22nd after the arbitrary arrest of three students. In Khenchela, on the 10th of June, an officer who shows off, driving a large car, calls a young woman with contempt. Attacked by the young people who ran to defend the women, he cries out : « But what is going on with you today ? » and the answer is « Everything changed. » He get a good hiding, his car is destroyed. One hour later, he comes back with thirty soldiers dressed in civilian clothes, armed with automatic rifles. After a pitched battle, the soldiers have to retreat, but the riot spread in the whole town : barricades are erected, the city hall, the tax office, Sonelgaz corporation’s headquarter, the prefecture and two chain store are turned upside down by the people shouting : « this is the way for Chaouis !  » The whole city is devastated.

When the routine of oppression is not tolerated anymore, the extraordinary becomes normal. During these weeks, these months, nearly everyday a gendarmerie brigade was attacked or harassed ; and usually several at the same time. Military barracks were besieged ; a blockade was imposed to the gendarmes who were forced to launch raids for supplies. Those who accepted to have any relation with them, even strictly commercial, were boycotted, put in quarantine and punished.

Some hotels were burned, as well as villas, cafe, restaurants, and stores, targeted because they belonged to dishonest officials or various wheeler-dealer-businessmen. There were numerous destructions but it seems that there has been few looting. Thus, for example, in Kherrata on may 23rd the large stock of goods found in the house of a gendarmerie ex-officer were immediately burned. Everyone expressed its grievance, it’s concerning housing, water, industrial nuisance, monopolizing of all sorts that the corrupted were systematically exposed to public condemnation and treated as scoundrel. To start dealing with the vital problems posed by dilapidated state of the country, it was necessary to fight firstly those who prevent the people to take care of the problems.

The population settled the authority hash, with officials close at hands, the mayors were mainly targeted. Beyond those skirmishes, the project of a complete expropriation of the expropriators was taking shape. Still marked by ambiguities, that ended when the movement broke with the labour unionists, a declaration of the popular comity from Bejaïa’s Wilaya (prefecture) declared to the political power on July 7th  : « Your gendarmes, symbols of corruption, are only useful to kill, repress and traffic. That is why they have to leave immediately. Concerning our security, our brave vigilance committees are perfectly dealing with it : they are our pride. » It goes on, reminding that the citizens’ problems « are assumed by our neighbourhood and villages’ delegates and by labour unionists delegates who are working in an assembly called popular comity. Isn’t it Direct Democracy ?« 

The insurrection, or at least its more advanced organisation, was limited to Kabylie. Nevertheless, it has to be called Algerian insurrection because the Kabyle insurgents themselves called it Algerian and tried to extend it and they refused the berberist identity argument in which their enemies wanted to disguise them.

It is useless to raise interrogation, as a overnmental « inquiry commission » and moralist journalists did, to know if provocative activities of the gendarmerie could have provoked the riots ; as if the existence of algerian State and its bloody repression is not a permanent provocation ; and as of the population need special justifications to revolt. The insurgents took up the term « hogra » by which the Algerians name the arbitrary of authority, its privileges and corruption, its contempt. In fact fighting the hogra, meant fighting the State itself.

What would be left of a state without privileges or corruption, a state that could not use arbitrary and scorn ? In Algeria more than anywhere else, nearly nothing : the only public service that really worked in this country, since forty years, is torture and political assassination. While conspiring one against the other in order to appropriate power and oil income, the State gangs never stopped conspiring together against the people.

As declared one of these political decision-maker after the repression of October 1988 riots : « During thirty years, we were able to tear each other apart, to fight each other. However, we never abandoned an expelled leader, even by simply visiting him. Because we were united by the certainty that our children have to take over from us. We knew that if this law was broken off, it would be the end for us, because the street would not be satisfied with one head but would take all. » (Cited by Jose Garçon in the preface of Djallal Malti’s book : La Nouvelle Guerre d’Algerie, 1999)

Through so many purges, eliminations, manipulations, so many negotiations « where they were at daggers drawn », so many covered up executions and mass killings, the real and unique continuity of Algerian State (in continuity with the FLN) is police. As early as 1956, the forming bureaucracy organized itself around the FLN’ s secret services (base of the coming ’Securite Militaire’).

The assassination of Abbane Ramdane in December 1957 points out their definitive victory over those, who wanted to use ideology to control the masses and to justify the coming bureaucratic and dictatorial system. Since then in this mixture of police terrorism and « revolutionary » phraseology, there is less of the second and more of the first one. The execution becomes the usual procedure to solve conflicts, not only against the M.N.A of Messali Hadj, but also inside the F.L.N itself.

Since 1958, the officers of the services were formed in KGB schools in Moscow. [Former President] Boumedienne [.] had himself been assistant of Boussouf, the organizer of FLN’ s interior police. And we know that the generals, who are part of the Mafioso authorities in Algeria, most of them « deserters of the French Army » (in other words very lately converted to the anti-colonial struggle) went during the sixties in Moscow to gain other skills (at KGB or Frounze academy) ; with this double formation, by colonialism and Stalinism, they kept their methods of pacification (or eradication), in the tradition of the worst atrocities of the French colonial army, and their manipulation and provocation techniques. It is well known in Algeria but not in France, because the Algerian state as all sorts of collusions, especially in the medias, where it is not necessary to hire all journalists to propagandize : the false left conscience and the « complex of the colonizer » are sometimes enough, even if the Algerians Services largely bribe and not only political parties.

[…]

For the bureaucrats who cynically glorified the masses in their slogans (« Only one hero, the people »), the Algerian masses have only been human material available for their operations and scheming, cannon fodder, sent to be massacred by the French army and then directly massacred. The intact resolution of the rioters, when they already had dozens of dead in their rank, gives a clear testimony of the hatred accumulated years after years in Algeria (and particularly in Kabylie) against the repressive state. « No forgiveness, never ! » has been the most popular slogan. The claiming platform adopted at El-Kseur required « the immediate leaving of gendarmerie brigades » from kabylie.

According to Le Monde Diplomatique , it was the only « clear » claiming of the rebels. But even in that case it would have been a sort of program for an Algerian revolution. Such a requirement completed by the demand for the »effective control of all state executive functions and of security corps by the democratic elected institutions« , was giving the movement the goal to dismantle the « special armed detachment » which are the main « material expression » of any State, and that is in Algeria, nearly the only functional « expression ».

To effectively dismantle, to organize the retaking of state power by the people, by the masses « who substitute their own force to the force organized to oppress them » (Marx about La Commune). Even if only accomplished on a part of the territory, it cannot be accomplished without a revolution in all aspects of social life. And this was what the insurgents tended to do when they besieged the gendarmeries, isolated them and put them in quarantine, separated them from society in order that society separates from them. This is the example of separatism that Kabylie gave to the rest of Algeria.

The existence of such a movement in itself disclaims all the stinking political lies omnipresent in Algeria since so many years. The real subversion started to dissipate the sticky haze of police fictions and to put everybody in its place : « we refuse to show solidarity with those who are destroying state property » declared a representative of F.I.S. (Islamic Salvation Front)

In Portugal in 1974, people used to say, « truth is like oil« . Today in Kabylie we say : « Truth is like a cork. » Direct antithesis of any state lie, the insurrection was not satisfied in asking the truth (the conclusions of governmental enquiry commissions were denounced by advance, and their dissolution war one of the claim of El-Kseur platform), it imposed the truth every time possible by denouncing the imposture « live ». Regarding that aspect, one of the most beautiful moments, was the women demonstration in Tizi-Ouzou on May the 24th . The women demonstrating started by rejecting the very official « association of widowed and daughters of the martyrs of independence war » to join to their demonstration, then they expelled by insulting her Khalida Messaoudi, adviser and in her own words « militant companion » of Bouteflika [president-dictator]. She just left the R.C.D and pretended to come here to get a new political image : « As she was trying to slip into the procession, jeering raised. « Khalida out », shouted some women. « Khalida Lewinski » screamed others. She had only just been evacuated to Alger. » (Liberation, 26th-27th may 2001.)

Finally, after manifesting in such a way their contempt for the media-democratic auxiliaries, they did not saved the berberist and they also prevented followers of the autonomy of Kabylie to join the demonstration.

The dismissal of all the political representations was constant during the insurrection, and it was one of the most slandered aspects of it. The offices of the two parties (RCD and FFS) that could hope to get a profit from such a movement were among the first to burn in Tizi-Rached, as well as the bank, the social security building and the tax office, on April 26th . And even during the June 25th demonstration in Tizi Ouzou, for the third anniversary of the execution of the singer Lounes Matoub, we heard among the slogans besides « a kabyle is a kabyle, its enemies are the gendarmes« , « no F.F.S, no R.C.D« .

The most discredited was for sure the R.C.D, despite its resignation from the government in the end of April (RCD’ s leader Sadi qualified the entry in the government in December 1999 as a « political event constituting at the same time a success and disruption ») it was impossible to forget its long time collaboration with the military clan of the ’eradicators’. Concerning the FFS, less compromised with the authorities, it opened people’ eyes by presenting, on the 12 of may, to Bouteflika, to the army chief of staff and to the chief of D.R.S (former Securite Militaire), a ’memorandum’ that consisted of offering their services to organize a « democratic transition ».

II

The most outstanding aspect of the Algerian insurrection is its self-organisation. The hostility toward political parties and « any proximity with power », the distrust with any uncontrolled representation, the refusal to be, once more, rank and file for political schemes ; all that resulted in the spreading and coordination of villages and neighbourhood assemblies, rapidly recognized by everybody as the only authentic expression of the movement. As early as the 20th of April , the delegates of the forty-three villages of Beni Douala daïra (sub prefecture) organized into coordination and called for a general strike. The following days, villages’ comities and coordination formed in the whole wilaya of Tizi-Ouzou. May 4th, in the city of Tizi-Ouzou itself, posters are calling for a six days general strike ; it comes from a neighbourhood temporary coordination, « according to unknown sources in Tizi-Ouzou », as written in may 5th edition of the newspaper Liberte. It reveals, the day after, the anxiety of the parties leadership, caused by these forms of self-organization. On may 6th is announced for the 10th a meeting in Beni Douala with assembly delegates of Tizi-Ozou, Bejaïa and Bouira’s wilayas, to create a coordination for the whole Kabylie and to adopt a plat-form of claims. A delegate declares : « the parties, nobody believes in it anymore here. » (Liberte, may 7th) That meeting in Beni-Douala takes place as expected, but there’s only the delegates (200) of a majority of the villages of Tizi-Ouzou’ wilaya : journalists are attacked, the press broadcasted a false communiqué announcing the postponement of the meeting (this is just the beginning of a growing campaign of disinformation and slanders) ; a mayor, pretending to remind to the assembly the respect of legality has to leave the meeting : « we don’t need a mayor here or any state representative » declares a delegate. (eight days later in Illoula, another mayor has to leave the meeting, despite the fact that he is also a village delegate)

The concern for autonomy of the movement and the will to control closely its delegates are marking all the decisions ; for example, the decision to create a committee head-quarter in Tizi-Ouzou to spread the information for the next delegates meeting : the assembly made sure to forbid to the committee the right to speak in the name of the movement. (No declaration to the media etc.)

It is impossible to make a detailed reconstitution of the extension of the assembly movement to the whole Kabylie and to the rest of Algeria ; firstly because the lgerian « independent » press (and the French press) insisted on the need of an urgent « democratic » modernization but mentioned very partially the activities and declarations of the assemblies, or they slandered it. We can nevertheless point out the main developments of self-organization, that progresses as well as riots are spreading throughout the country. On may 18th in Illoula, a delegates meeting of Tizi-Ouzou region adopts a first claim plat-form (among the claims, the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all gendarmerie brigades) and calls for a march on Tizi-Ouzou. May 21st, that march brings together hundreds of thousands of demonstrators (« the black march » was organized by the coordination of villages committees and political parties had no visible presence » noted Le Monde in May 23rd edition). Then the succession of delegates meetings lead to the formation of an interwilayas coordination (Tizi-Ouzou, Bejaïa, Bouira, Setif, Boumerdes, Bordj-Bou-Arredidj, Algiers, and the ’Comite collectif des unversites d’Alger’) and to the adoption, on June 11th at El-Kseur, of a plat-form of common claims. The march on Algiers, on June 14th, was the peak of that first stage of the movement.

The meaning of this march, despite the fact that the organizers didn’t have a full consciousness of that, was to spread subversion in Algiers itself and to confront the state ’at home’ : this was the equivalent of an attempted insurrection. Indeed, going to the presidency to bring the plat-form of El-Kseur (the official goal of the march), with hundred of thousands or millions of demonstrators in the street, it allowed to speak in front of the State, power to power, and to proclaim to the Algerian people that the time came to end the oppression going on since 1962. One more day of agitation in Algiers was needed for the entire population, seeing the power faltering, to go into the fight. The Power saw clearly that it had to prevent, at any cost, the subversion to come to Algiers, and whatever was its state of paralysis, it had enough forces to avoid the danger, because of the superiority of its defensive position : thus it used effectively all the repressive tools, splitting up the demonstrators from Kabylie, blocking most of them ten kilometres from downtown Algiers, isolating rioters groups and launching provocateurs, recruited among local gangs, on the crowd. Among the favourable circumstances for the Power, there was the demoralization and fear among people living in Algiers who suffered the most during the « dirty war ». They just started to get out of it since the student agitation that started in early may ; and since the demonstration called by the FFS on the 31, that allowed a first junction with the insurgents of Kabylie. The declaration of Algerois, reported in the press, expressed quite fairly the situation at that time, as since one week spontaneous demos were forming every day in Algiers (and also Oran, Setif, Boumerdes) with hundreds or thousands of demonstrators :

« We shout « pouvoir assassin » [power=murderer]. We are beaten. Then we go home and we watch, on French TV, the real riots in Kabylie, just one hour from here. But today we’ll know better what is going on, if we go into the war or if we stay outside. » « We were afraid to get out of the neighbourhood because of assassinations, policemen, terrorists and all that. Now, I think ’it’s our time, we have to go. But I’m very confused.« 

« Who in Algeria, doesn’t feel injustice and deep discontent ? Who doesn’t want to end that ? However, Algiers is not Kabylie. There it is very tough but they know each other, they are all together, with a culture, strong structures that resisted despite war. Here, our only political education comes from Egyptian TV soap. After years of brainwashing, G.I.A (Islamic Armed Groups) bulletins looking like science fiction, our brains were like pulp. In a big city, any provocation or dirty trick can happen. » (Liberation , May 31st 2001)

[.]

End of the translation

To be continued …


Personal and subjective notes By Karim Al Majnun

From Class against Class

-  FFS : Front des Forces Socialistes – Authoritarian Socialist Party

-  FIS : Front Islamique du Salut – Islamic Salvation Front – Islamic Populist Party. It was the main opposition to the corrupted FLN. They won local elections and legislative elections in December 1991, the generals refused the democratic results and organized a coup. FIS leaders and activists were arrested, many tortured for months, some killed, the villages and cities who voted for FIS were victim of State Terror : police and services arrested, killed and tortured, many tortured people who survived went with the islamist terrorist guerrilla to protect themselves from the army and/or to get revenge.

-  FLN : Front de Liberation Nationale – THE Algerian Party for decades. Supposedly democratic and post-colonial, in fact THE party of the highly corrupted leninist-nationalist ruling class. The role of the FLN was to control, at any price, the vital resources of the country (mainly oil) for its interests and for the interests of Oil and Gas industry.

From state capitalism to private capitalism…

Historically, the FLN manipulated the memory of the fight against French occupation. Leaders were Nationalist with Stalinist influences. Now working for privatization with capitalist global institutions.

-  RCD : Rassemblement Culture et Democratie – Berberist Authoritarian Party

Presented the Insurrection in Kabylie as a « cultural » insurrection.

-  GIA : Islamic Armed Groups – Islamo-fascists armed groups who are using 2 types of armed struggle : regular fighting against the army and mainly terrorism and mass murder of Algerian civilians. Many of the IAG are in fact manipulated by the Algerian intelligence services and the army generals-businessmen (who are the real leaders of the country).

In addition, some terror acts who are attributed to the GIA are in fact committed by army commandos dressed like islamist terrorists. For instance they go into villages who voted for the FIS (main opposition to the FLN) and they kill people, they torture, they rape women, they burn babies in front of their parents etc. Of course western intelligence services (specially French Services) are aware of the Algerian state terrorism, but they support it, as a mean of social control and local stability.

With the same logic, one of the GIA strategy is to murder civilians in false army checkpoints.

Jaime Semprun ; Paris 2001 (First publication on http:cnt-ait.info : dimanche 27 avril 2003)


Paris Edition de l’encyclopedie des Nuisances 60, rue de Menilmontant, XXe arr.

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Translation :

(fr) Apologie pour l’insurrection algérienne

Sail Mohamed, LIFE AND REVOLT OF AN ALGERIAN ANARCHIST

Sail Mohamed Ameriane ben Amerzaine was born on 14 October 1894 at Tarbeit-Beni-Ouglis in the Berber region of Kabylie, Algeria.

Like many Algerians, he recieved little schooling. A driver-mechanic by trade, all his life he thirsted for culture and took great pains to educate himself. From a Muslim Berber background, he became a convined atheist. During the First World War he was interned for insubordination and then desertion from the French Army. His sympathies for anarchism were already developing.

Sail Mohamed Ameriane ben Amerzaine was born on 14 October 1894 at Tarbeit-Beni-Ouglis in the Berber region of Kabylie, Algeria.

Like many Algerians, he recieved little schooling. A driver-mechanic by trade, all his life he thirsted for culture and took great pains to educate himself. From a Muslim Berber background, he became a convined atheist. During the First World War he was interned for insubordination and then desertion from the French Army. His sympathies for anarchism were already developing.

At the end of the War, with the rebuilding of the anarchist movement, he joined the organisation Union Anarchiste (UA). In 1923, with his friend Sliman Kiouane, a singer, he founded the Committee for the Defence of Indigenous Algerians. In his first articles he denounced the poverty of the colonialised people and colonial exploitation. He became an expert on the North African situation. He organised meetings with the anarchist groups of the 17th arrondissement of Paris on the exploitation of North Africans, which were delivered both in Arabic and in French. Sail set up an anarchist group in Aulnay-sous-bois and became one of its most effective activists. In 1929, he became secretary of a new committee: the Defence Committee of Algerians against the Centenary Provocation (France were preparing to celebrate the centenary of the conquest of Algeria on 5 July 1830). All the tendencies of the anarchist movement, the UA, the anarcho-syndicalist union the ’Confederation Generale du Travail syndicaliste-revolutionnaire (CGT-SR, the IWA French section at that time, which CNT-AIT is currently the continuity) and the Association de Federalistes anarchistes denounced « Murderous colonialism, bloody masquerade ». They put forward the statement « Civilisation? Progress? We say, Murder! »

Following this, Sail joined the CGT-SR / IWA, in which he created the Section of Indigenous Algerians. The following year, with the Colonial Exhibition in Paris, the anarchist movement restarted its campaign against colonialism. Sail was in the forefront of this struggle.

Social awakening

In January 1932, he became the director of L’Eveil Social (Social Awakening), le journal du peuple. Following an anti-militarist article he was prosecuted for « provocation of the military to disobedience ». The Secours Rouge International, a satellite organisation of the Communist Party, lent him their support, which he rejected in the name of the victims of Stalinism.

In 1934, the « Sail Mohamed Affair » burst onto the scene. The demonstration of the fascist and anti-Semetic Ligues on 6 February 1934 set off a chain reaction throughout the workers’ movement. Sail collected arms and hid them. On 3 March he was arrested for « carrying prohibited arms ». The workers’ movement gave him their support, except for the Communist Party, which denounced him as an agent provocateur. Condemned to a month in prison, then another for « retaining weapons of war » he ended up serving four months in jail. He resumed the struggle.

L’Eveil Sociale merged with Terre Libre (monthly paper of the Alliance Libre des anarchistes du Midi – see Paul Rousenq). Sail was responsible for bringing out the North African edition of Terre Libre. He attempted to set up an Anarchist Group of Indigenous Algerians, with various appeals in the anarchist press. At the same time he continued to be active with the Union Anarchiste.

Spain

After the Francoist uprising in Spain, Sail joined the Sebastian Faure Century, the French-speaking section of the Durruti Column, the anarchist militia unit in September 1936, becoming its commander. Meanwhile the Republicans (and – Alas ! – some Anarchists) were denouncing the « Moros invasion » because of the Moroccan auxilliary troops in the Francoist army, the fact that the Spanish CNT-AIT appointed Mohamed SAIL as the responsible for the Internationalist Group is highly politically significant.

Wounded in the hand during November 1936, he returned to France, after having sent out many letters describing the situation of the Spanish anarchist movement.

After his wound was healed, he took part in many rallies organised by the Union Anarchiste on Spain. Immediately after this tour, he participated at a meeting organised by revolutionaries in Paris to protest against the banning of the Etoile Nord Africaine edited by Messali Hadj and against the repression of demonstrations in Tunisia, which had resulted in 16 dead. Again arrested for « provocation of the military » he was condemned to 18 months in prison in December 1938. He was supported by SIA (International  Antifascist Solidarity) that denonced the French governement hypocrisy, putting Mohamed SAIl in jail while freeing the fascists of the CSAR/ CAgoule group.

At the start of the Second World War, he was arrested again and put in a concentration camp at Riom. His large library was broken up after a raid. He escaped from there, forged false papers and went underground during the Occupation.

From 1944 he worked with others for the reconstruction of the anarchist movement. He joined CNT-AIT when reforming in 1946. With the Liberation he set up the Aulnay-sous-bois group again, and tried to reform the Committee of Algerian Anarchists. In Le Libertaire, weekly paper of the Federation Anarchiste, he wrote a column on the situation in Algeria. He produced a series of articles on the « Calvary of the Indigenous Algerians ».

He died in April 1953. George Fontenis delivered an address in his honour in the name of the anarchist movement at his funeral on 30 April 1953.

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Translations :

(fr) SAIL MOHAMED, LA VIE ET LA REVOLTE D’UN ANARCHISTE ALGERIEN(id) Sail Mohamed adalah seorang anarkis asal Aljazair

(tr) Tarİh , Cezayİrlİ anarþİst Saïl Mohamed’İn yaþamöyküsü

Solidarity with the Social Protests in France: Resistance to Capitalism, Exploitation!and the State!

__The IWA would like to show its solidarity with the social protests occuring in France which are yet another example of resistance to the overbearing exploitation that working people around the world are facing. Below we would like to publish parts of a text sent by the CNT-AIT and an appeal for solidarity.__

The IWA would like to show its solidarity with the social protests occuring in France which are yet another example of resistance to the overbearing exploitation that working people around the world are facing. Below we would like to publish parts of a text sent by the CNT-AIT and an appeal for solidarity.

Call for solidarity with the popular movement in France of the « Yellow Vests ».

For more than 2 months, a social movement of a new type has been shaking France.

Hundreds of thousands of people, mostly working classes (poor or middle-class workers, unemployed, temporary workers, pensioners, …), have been gathering to spontaneously occupy public spaces (and especially the « roundabouts  » ones may find at the entrance of any city or village in France), to express their anger and to seek how to overcome the current political system. These thousands of people have been using the method of struggle which are familiar to anarchosyndicalists: decisions in assemblies, refusal to have leaders or representatives, direct action (that is, action taken directly by the people in struggle, and therefore without political parties, without unions or any other organizations outside of the assembly which would be intermediate between the assembly and the Power / State / Government / Boss). An autonomous movement with diversity of tactics and mobility. (“Auto” means self and “nomous” means norm, so an autonomous movement that defines its own rules for action, outside the regulatory and legal framework.) To identify themselves, people in struggle have adopted the « yellow vest », a universal symbol that makes everyone equal, and gives visibility to those whom those in Power do not want to see: the poor, those excluded from the economic system by capitalism and globalization. The Bosses and Capitalists are worried about the impact of this movement on the economy. The cost for the French economy is already estimated to be in the billions of euros. In the 2 months of this autonomous agitation, the “Yellow vest” movement has already obtained more social progress than all trade-union representatives and political elections in the last 20 past years.

You’ve probably seen the movies and the pictures of the clashes between the yellow vests and the anti-riot police every week-end since November. These images are certainly spectacular; we can even speak of insurrection in Paris on December 1st or in the city of Toulouse (where our main group in France is located) each weekend. However, we have to look further and avoid the hypnosis of images. In our point of view, what is really important in this movement is not so much these images of battles that are looping over the internet or on the TVs, but rather the fact that thousands of people have got used to meeting regularly in assemblies to decide by themselves, without political party or outside organization, developing their own policies and criticizing Capitalism and the State.

The Power (Capitalism,Class and State) is even more afraid of this momentum of mass awareness of the workers self-capacity for autonomous action, than they are afraid of spectacular violence. As the weeks go by, the revolt, which initially focused solely on a fuel tax issue, has spread and could lead to a complete challenge of the system. To break this movement, the Power tries all the weapons at its disposal: it first tried to say that it was a movement of the far right. In this ridiculous attempt to slander it, The State has been helped by the majority of libertarian or leftist organizations which are so cut-off from the working class that they are incapable of recognizing the class nature of this movement. It is true that – in some cities – racists tried to manipulate the movement at first, but for the moment they have been put in the minority and even sometimes violently expelled from the demonstrations. Then the government tried to calm the spirits by announcing some subsidies for those with the lowest wages. But this measure was so out of step with the social reality that it felt more like humiliation. So the State and Capitalists had to take off their masks and show their true face: that of violence. They remind us that “State has the legitimate monopoly of violence” and that Capitalism operates on a system of domination of the strongest over the weakest. Thus, since the beginning of the movement, several thousand rebels have been arrested and several hundred have been sentenced to very heavy prison sentences, often for the sole crime of having been present in the street to protest. Hundreds of people have been wounded, some have had their hands or feet torn off by explosive grenades, others have their eyes or cheeks pierced by rubber bullets.

CNT-AIT activists have been involved in the movement of yellow vests since the beginning. Initially we came to see and understand what was happening. Quickly it became clear that we were together with people who shared our organisational practice of Assemblies, without representatives, refusing political parties and elections, asking for more social justice. So it seemed natural for us to participate fully but always in the respect of our anarchosyndicalist principles. Our intervention also aims to eject the fascists and other harmful political parasites who seek to use this movement.

In the immediate future, there have been many people arrested and sentenced to prison, who are mostly workers, with or without work, and most often without money and isolated. The duty of anarchosyndicalists is to express solidarity with these prisoners of the social struggle, to demand their release. That is why today we are launching an appeal for solidarity. Any solidarity action, even symbolic, is welcome.

On February 5th, a call to strike was launched by the Yellow Vests. The CNT-AIT calls to join the general strike.

Violence is the State and Capitalism!

Freedom for prisoners of social revolt!

CNT AIT France

contact (at) cnt-ait.info

https://iwa-ait.org/content/solidarity-social-protests-france-resistance-capitalism-exploitationand-state=====Translations :
(de) IAA: Solidarität mit den Sozialprotesten in Frankreich

(en) Solidarity with the Social Protests in France: Resistance to Capitalism, Exploitation!and the State!

(es) Solidaridad con las protestas sociales en Francia: ¡Resistencia al capitalismo, explotación y al Estado!

(no) « IAA: Solidarität mit den Sozialprotesten in – Solidarnost sa društvenim protestima u Francuskoj: » CNT-AIT Frankrike: Solidaritet med de sosiale protestene i Frankrike- de «gule vestene»: Motstand mot kapitalismen, utbyttinga og staten

(ru)  Франция: Анархо-синдикалистыподдерживаютдвижение « желтыхжилетов » ивсеобщуюстачку

(sh) Solidarnost sa društvenim protestima u Francuskoj: Otpor kapitalizmu, eksploataciji i državi!

(sk) „Žlté vesty“ z pohľadu aktívnych účastníkov + solidárna akcia v Bratislave