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Thursday, 16 August 2012 17:59
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Anarchists Detained by Counter-Terrorist Police on Return from Swiss Conference [plus French, Spanish, German, Italian translations]

For the past week, thousands of anarchists from across Europe have been converging in St.Imier, Switzerland to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the founding of the Anarchist international. The gathering (8th-12th August 2012) took the form of a festival and educational, with music, films and entertainment as well as workshops and discussions.

On returning from the St Imier gathering, two anarchists, one a member of the UK Anarchist Federation, were detained for nearly two hours at Heathrow by SO15 (counter-terrorist) police. During the detention, the anarchists were told that their normal rights did not apply, and had their names, addresses, email addresses, DNA and fingerprints taken. The detained anarchists were also forced to sign forms – which may or may not be legal – waiving their rights to silence and a solicitor. Police also conducted a thorough search of personal possessions, photocopied literature and passports and took information from phones and cameras.

During the detention, the police constantly accused the anarchists of lying about involvement in criminal activity and alleged that they would be conducting follow-up police action against one of the detained anarchists. In addition to this, SO15 officers asked a number of inflammatory, irrelevant and offensive questions, including ‘what would you do if someone raped your mother?’ evidently in an attempt to cause emotional upset and illicit angry or violent responses. One member (28) who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals from the police, said "We were treated like criminals. I told them I went to the congress as I am an amateur journalist and I write articles about activism. They saw my note book, camera and Dictaphone but they said I was lying. One officer said 'You said you are an anarchist, I've seen anarchists on the news, they are violent, throw molotov cocktails and disrupt people’s lives not write articles'".

The counter terrorist officers either didn't know or chose to ignore that, during the first day of the gathering, the International of Anarchist Federations (Of which the UK Anarchist Federation is a member) had issued a statement rejecting all terrorist tactics as a means of achieving an anarchist society.

In contrast to the actions of the UK security forces, the local press and residents in St. Imier reported very positively on the anarchist gathering.

With this incident, we are seeing a further slide towards political policing and the criminalisation of political ideologies. The two detained anarchists have not had any involvement in any illegal or violent activity, or any activity that would concern the counter-terrorist police. As in the past, when Metropolitan police called on people to give information about local anarchists ( Anarchists should be reported, advises Westminster anti-terror police | UK news | The Guardian ), anarchists suffered harassment for their political viewpoint.

As class-struggle anarchists, we believe that the state does little except serve the interests of the rich and powerful at the expense of ordinary people. This is seen clearly when people who hold views critical of the state are treated as criminals and terrorists. We seek to create a classless society, based on freedom, equality and co-operation. We believe in the capacity of ordinary people to run society themselves, without the interference of bosses or politicians. This incident was not in response to any crime and constitutes repression and criminalisation of a political ideology.

Editors Notes:

Anarchism is a political philosophy that seeks to build an egalitarian society in which mutual aid, co-operation and direct democracy replace capitalism and the state.

The St Imier Congress was a gathering of anarchists from all over the world to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the first international anarchist gathering in the Swiss town of St Imier in 1872.

The Anarchist Federation is a federation of class struggle anarchist-communists in the UK who seek to build an egalitarian society.

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French translation

Anarchistes détenu-es par la police anti-terroriste à leur retour d'une conférence en Suisse

La semaine dernière, des milliers d'anarchistes de toute l'Europe ont convergé à St Imier en Suisse pour célébrer le 140ème anniversaire de la création de l'Internationale anarchiste. Cette rencontre a pris la forme d'un festival et d'une conférence, avec de la musique, des films et des divertissements aussi bien que des ateliers et des débats.

A leur retour de St Imier, deux anarchistes, l'un-e d'entre elles-eux membre de la Fédération Anarchiste du Royaume-Uni, ont été détenu-es pendant près de deux heures à l'aéroport d'Heathrow par la police SO15 (anti-terroriste). Durant leur détention, les anarchistes ont été informé-es que leurs droits n'étaient exceptionnellement pas applicables et ont du donner leur nom, adresse, adresses email, ADN et empreintes digitales. Les anarchistes détenu-es ont également été contraint-es de signer des formulaires -dont la valeur légale est incertaine- dans lesquels ils-elles renonçaient à leur droit à garder le silence et à un avocat. La police a également effectué une fouille complète de leurs effets personnels, a photocopié leur passeport et la propagande qu'ils-elles transportaient et a copié l'information de leurs téléphones et de leurs appareils photo.

Durant la détention, la police les a constamment accusé de mentir et d'avoir pris part à des activités criminelles et ont prétendu qu'ils allaient poursuivre l'enquête au sujet d'un-e des anarchistes détenu-es. De plus, les agents SO15 ont posé un certain nombre de questions provocatrices, insultantes et sans aucun rapport, y compris 'que feriez-vous si quelqu'un violait votre mère?', une tentative évidente de causer un tort émotionnel et de solliciter une réaction violente ou hostile. L'un-e des membres (28 ans) qui n'a pas souhaité être nommé-e par peur de représailles de la police, a déclaré “Nous avons été traité-es comme des criminel-les. Je leur ai dit que j'étais allé-e au congrès en tant que journaliste amateur-trice et que j'écrivais des articles sur le militantisme. Ils ont vu mon carnet de notes, mon appareil photo et mon dictaphone mais ils ont dit que je mentais. Un officier a dit “vous dites être anarchiste, j'ai vu des anarchistes aux infos: ils-elles sont violent-es, jettent des cocktails molotov et dérangent la vie des gens, elles-ils n'écrivent pas d'articles.””.

Les agents anti-terroristes ignoraient, ou on décidé d'ignorer le fait que le premier jour du congrès, l'Internationale des Fédérations Anarchistes (dont la Fédération Anarchiste britannique est membre) a fait une déclaration rejetant toute tactique terroriste comme moyen de parvenir à une société anarchiste.

Contrairement aux actions des forces de sécurité britanniques, la presse locale et les habitant-es de St Imier ont fait un bilan très positif des rencontres anarchistes.

A travers cet incident, nous constatons une nouvelle dérive vers une criminalisation des idéologies politiques au Royaume-Uni. Les deux anarchistes détenu-es n'ont jamais été impliqué-es dans des actions illégales ou violentes, ou aucune action qui relèverait de la police anti-terroriste. Comme par le passé, lorsque la police métropolitaine de Londres avait appelé à la dénonciation des anarchistes ( Anarchists should be reported, advises Westminster anti-terror police | UK news | The Guardian ), les anarchistes sont harcelé-es sur la base de leurs idées politiques.

En tant qu'anarchistes de lutte de classe, nous pensons que l'état sert les intérêts des riches et des puissant-es au détriment des intérêts des gens ordinaires. On le voit de façon très claire lorsque des gens critiques de l'état sont traitées comme des terroristes et des criminel-les. Nous voulons une société sans classe, fondée sur la liberté, l'égalité et la coopération. Nous croyons en la capacité des gens ordinaires à gérer la société eux-elles-même, sans interférence des patron-nes et des politicien-nes. Cet incident n'était pas en réaction à un crime quelconque et constitue un acte de répression et de criminalisation d'une idéologie politique.

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Spanish translation

Dos anarquistas que regresan al Reino Unido de una conferencia en Suiza, fueron detenidos, se les negó un abogado e interrogados por agentes de lucha contra el terrorismo.

Durante la semana pasada, miles de anarquistas de todo el mundo han ido convergiendo en St.Imier, Suiza, para celebrar el 140 aniversario de la fundación de la Internacional Anarquista. La reunión tomó forma de un festival con música, películas y entretenimiento, así como talleres y debates.
Al regresar de la reunión de San Imier, dos anarquistas, una miembro de la Federación Anarquista de Reino Unido, fueron detenidos durante casi dos horas en Heathrow por el SO15 (antiterrorista) de inteligencia que en un principio se negaron a identificarse a los detenidos. Durante la detención, los anarquistas se les dijo que sus derechos normales no se aplicaban, y tenían sus nombres, direcciones, direcciones de correo electrónico, ADN, fotografías y huellas dactilares tomadas. Los anarquistas detenidos fueron obligados a firmar los formularios - que puede o puede no ser legal - renuncia a sus derechos a guardar silencio y un procurador. La policía también llevó a cabo una búsqueda minuciosa de sus pertenencias personales, la literatura fotocopiada y pasaportes y se llevó la información de los teléfonos y cámaras.

Durante la detención, la policía acusó a los anarquistas constantemente de mentir acerca de la participación en actividades delictivas y alegaron que se llevaría a cabo una acción de seguimiento policial en contra de uno de los anarquistas detenidos. Además de esto, SO15 oficiales pidieron una serie de preguntas inflamatorias, irrelevantes y ofensivas, incluyendo "¿Qué harías si alguien violó a tu madre?" Evidentemente, en un intento de provocar respuestas emocionales de ira o malestar violentos e ilegales. Uno de los miembros (28) que no quiso ser identificado por temor a represalias de la policía, dijo: "Nos trataron como delincuentes. Yo les dije que fui al congreso ya que soy un periodista aficionado, y escribo artículos sobre activismo. Ellos vieron mi cuaderno de notas, cámara y dictáfono, pero me dijeron que estaba mintiendo. ", Dijo un oficial-Usted dijo que usted es un anarquista, he visto a los anarquistas en las noticias, que son violentos, lanzar cócteles molotov y perturbar la vida de la gente no escribe artículos ".

Los oficiales de lucha contra el terrorismo, o bien no sabía o prefirió ignorar que, durante el primer día de la reunión, la Internacional de Federaciones Anarquistas (del cual el Reino Unido Federación Anarquista es miembro) había emitido una declaración rechazando todas las tácticas terroristas como medio de lograr una sociedad anarquista.

En contraste con las acciones de las fuerzas de seguridad del Reino Unido, la prensa local y los residentes en St.Imier informó de manera muy positiva en la reunión anarquista.

Con este incidente, estamos viendo una diapositiva más hacia la política policial y la criminalización de las ideologías políticas. Los dos anarquistas detenidos no han tenido ninguna participación en ninguna actividad ilegal o violenta, o cualquier actividad que se referiría a la policía contra el terrorismo. Al igual que en el pasado, cuando la policía metropolitana hicieron un llamamiento a la gente a dar información acerca de los anarquistas locales (Anarquistas deben ser reportados, informa Westminster policía antiterrorista | Reino Unido Noticias | The Guardian), los anarquistas sufrieron el acoso de su punto de vista político.

Como anarquistas de lucha de clases, creemos que el estado hace muy poco, excepto servir a los intereses de los ricos y poderosos a expensas de la gente común. Esto se ve claramente cuando las personas que tienen puntos de vista crítico de la situación son tratados como criminales y terroristas. Buscamos crear una sociedad sin clases, basada en la libertad, la igualdad y la cooperación. Creemos en la capacidad de la gente común para ejecutar la sociedad a sí mismos, sin la interferencia de los jefes o los políticos. Este incidente no fue en respuesta a un crimen y constituye la represión y la criminalización de una ideología política.

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German translation

englische anarchist innen nach rückkehr aus saint-imier in heathrow vorübergehend inhaftiert

während der letzen woche kamen tausende anarchist_innen aus europa in saint-Imier, schweiz, zusammen, um das 140. jubiläum der gründung der anarchistischen internationalen zu feiern. das treffen hatte die form eines festivals und einer bildungsveranstaltung mit musik, filmen, unterhaltung, ebenso mit workshops und diskussionen.

bei der rückkehr vom treffen in saint-imier wurden zwei anarchist_innen, einer von ihnen ist mitglied der anarchistischen föderation großbritannien, für nahezu zwei stunden am londoner flughafen heathrow vom so15 (terrorismusbekämpfung) in gewahrsam genommen. während der ingewahrsamnahme wurde den anarchist_innen gesagt, dass ihre normalen rechte keine gültigkeit hätten. ihre namen, adressen, emailadressen, dna und fingerabdrücke wurden genommen. die in gewahrsam genommenen anarchist_innen wurden auch gezwungen, verzichtserklärungen zu unterschreiben – legal oder nicht legal – betreffend ihr recht zu schweigen und ihr recht auf einen rechtsbeistand. die polizei führte auch eine gründliche durchsuchung des persönlichen besitzes durch, fotokopierte literatur und ausweise und entnahm informationen von telefonen und kameras.

während der ingewahrsamnahme beschuldigte die polizei ständig die anarchist_innen zu lügen in bezug auf ihre beteiligung an kriminellen aktivitäten und behauptete, dass sie weitere polizeiaktionen gegen eine_n der in gewahrsam genommenen anarchist_innen durchführen würden. zusätzlich stellten so15-offizier_innen eine reihe von provokanten, irrelevanten und beleidigenden fragen, einschließlich „was würden sie tun, wenn jemand ihre mutter vergewaltigen würde?“. augenscheinlich taten sie dies, um einen gefühlsausbruch und strafbare, wütende oder gewalttätige antworten zu provozieren. ein mitglied (28), das aus angst vor polizeirepressionen nicht namentlich genannt werden möchte, sagte: „wir wurden wie kriminelle behandelt. ich sagte ihnen, dass ich zum kongress ging, weil ich amateurjournalist bin und artikel über aktivismus schreibe. sie sahen mein notebook, meine kamera und mein diktiergerät, aber sie sagten, ich würde lügen. ein_e offizier_in sagte: „sie sagten, dass sie ein_e anarchist_in seien. ich habe anarchist_innen in den nachrichten gesehen. sie sind gewalttätig, werfen molotovcocktails und stören den alltag der leute. sie schreiben keine artikel.“

die terrorismusbekämpfungsoffizier_innen wussten nichts davon oder entschieden sich dazu es zu ignorieren, dass während des ersten tages des treffens, die internationale der anarchistischen föderationen (bei der die anarchistische förderation großbritannien mitglied ist) eine stellungnahme veröffentlicht hatten, die alle terroristischen taktiken, um eine anarchistische gesellschaft zu erreichen, ablehnt.

im gegensatz zu den britischen sicherheitskräften berichteten die lokale presse und die einwohner_innen von saint-imier sehr positiv über das anarchistische treffen.

mit diesem zwischenfall sehen wir einen weiteren ruck richtung politischer polizeiarbeit und der kriminalisierung politischer weltanschauungen. die zwei in gewahrsam genommenen anarchist_innen waren nie in irgendeine illegale oder gewalttätige aktion involviert oder in irgendeine aktion, die die terrorabwehr betreffen würde.

wie in der vergangenheit, als die londoner polizei die menschen dazu aufrief, informationen über örtliche anarchist_innen weiterzugeben ( „anarchist_innen sollten gemeldet werden, ermahnt die westminster antiterrorpolizei“ | uk news | the guardian ), erlitten anarchist_innen schikane für ihre politische überzeugung.

als klassenkämpferische anarchist_innen glauben wir, dass der staat wenig tut, außer den interessen der reichen und mächtigen zu dienen auf kosten der normalen leute. dies tritt klar zu tage, wenn menschen, die kritische ansichten in bezug auf den staat vertreten, wie kriminelle und terrorist_innen behandelt werden. wir wollen eine klassenlose gesellschaft schaffen, die auf freiheit, gleichheit und kooperation basiert. wir glauben an die fähigkeit der normalen leute, die gesellschaft selbst zu verwalten ohne die einmischung durch bosse und politiker_innen. dieser zwischenfall war keine reaktion auf irgendein verbrechen. er zeigt die unterdrückung und kriminalisierung einer politischen überzeugung.

anmerkungen:

anarchsimus ist eine politische philisophie, die versucht eine gesellschaft der gleichen, in der gegenseitige hilfe, kooperation, und direkte demokratie den kapitalismus und den staat ablösen, zu errichten.

der kongress in saint-imier war ein treffen von anarchist_innen aus der ganzen welt, um das 140. jubiläum des ersten treffens der anarchistischen internationalen in der schweizer stadt saint-imier im jahr 1872 zu feiern.

die anarchistische föderation ist eine föderation von anarcho-kommunist_innen in großbritannien, die eine gesellschaft der gleichen errichten will.

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Italian translation

Anarchici detenuti dalla polizia anti-terrorismo di ritorno da una Conferenza in Svizzera

Per tutta la scorsa settimana, migliaia di anarchici provenienti da tutta Europa si sono incontrati a Saint-Imier, Svizzera, per celebrare il 140esimo anniversario dell’Internazionale Antiautoritaria. L’incontro ha preso la forma di un festival, con musica, film e intrattenimento accanto a seminari, assemblee e tavoli di discussione.

Di ritorno dall’incontro di Saint-Imier, due anarchici, uno dei quali membro dell’Anarchist Federation (UK), sono stati detenuti per circa due ore all’aeroporto londinese di Heathrow dalla SO15, la polizia antiterrorismo inglese. Nel corso della detenzione, agli anarchici è stato comunicato che i loro normali diritti erano sospesi e gli sono stati presi i nomi, gli indirizzi, i contatti email, il DNA e le impronte digitali. I detenuti sono stati anche obbligati a firmare dei moduli – cosa che può o meno essere legale – di rinuncia dei loro diritti all’avvocato e della facoltà di non rispondere. La polizia ha anche effettuato una perquisizione approfondita dei beni dei compagni, di testi fotocopiati e dei loro passaporti e ha preso informazioni da telefoni cellulari e fotocamere.

Durante la detenzione, la polizia ha accusato costantemente gli anarchici di mentire riguardo al loro coinvolgimento in attività criminali e ha affermato che avrebbe svolto in seguito un’azione di polizia nei confronti di uno dei due anarchici arrestati. In aggiunta a ciò, gli agenti dell’SO15 hanno fatto alcune domande infamanti, irrilevanti e offensive, incluso «Cosa faresti se qualcuno ti violentasse la madre?», in un tentativo evidente di causare sconvolgimenti emotivi e scoppi di rabbia o reazioni violente. Uno dei due compagni (28), che non vuole essere citato per timore di rappresaglie da parte della polizia, ha dichiarato: «Siamo stati trattati come criminali. Ho detto loro che ero andato al congresso dal momento che scrivo articoli sull’attivismo sociale e politico.

Hanno visto il mio notebook, la mia videocamera e il Dittafono ma hanno detto che stavo mentendo. Un ufficiale mi ha detto: “Hai detto che sei un anarchico. Ho visto gli anarchici ai telegiornali: sono violenti, lanciano molotov e rovinano la vita delle persone, non scrivono articoli”.»

Gli agenti antiterrorismo o non sapevano o hanno scelto di ignorare, tuttavia, che durante il primo giorno dell’incontro a Saint-Imier, l’Internazionale delle Federazioni Anarchiche (della quale l’Anarchist Federation UK è membro) aveva rilasciato una dichiarazione rifiutanto qualunque tattica terroristica come mezzo per la realizzazione di una società anarchica.

A differenza delle azioni repressive perpetrate dalla polizia inglese, l’incontro anarchico è stato accolto positivamente dalla popolazione di Saint-Imier e dalla stampa locale.

Con questo incidente, siamo di fronte ad un ulteriore slittamento verso politiche securitarie e la criminalizzazione delle ideologie politiche. I due anarchici arrestati non hanno avuto mai alcun coinvolgimento in attività violente o illegali, o in attività che debbano coinvolgere le forze antiterrorismo. Come nel passato, quando la polizia metropolitana ha invitato le persone alla delazione e a fornire informazioni sugli anarchici locali ( che devono essere segnalati, ricorda la polizia antiterrorismo di Westminster, Uk News, The Guardian ), questi hanno subito vessazioni per le loro idee politiche.

Come anarchici, sostenitori della lotta di classe, crediamo che lo stato faccia ben poco se non servire gli interessi dei ricchi e dei potenti alle spese della gente comune. Lo si vede chiaramente quando persone che hanno una visione critica dello stato sono trattate come criminali e terroristi. Noi cerchiamo di creare una società senza classi, basata sulla libertà, l’eguaglianza e la cooperazione. Crediamo nella capacità di tutti e tutte di gestire la società da noi, senza l’interferenza di padroni o politici. Questo incidente non era in risposta a un crimine e costituisce un atto di repressione e criminalizzazione di un’ideologia politica.

Note editoriali:

L’anarchismo è una filosofia politica che cerca di costruire una società egalitaria in cui il mutuo aiuto, la cooperazione e la democrazia diretta rimpiazzino il capitalismo e lo stato.

Il Congresso di Saint-Imier è stato un incontro di anarchici e anarchiche da tutto il mondo per celebrare il 140esimo anniversario della prima internazionale antiautoritaria tenutosi nella cittadina svizzera nel 1872.

L’Anarchist Federation è una federazione di anarchici inglesi per il comunismo libertario e per la lotta di classe che mira a costruire una società di libere ed uguali.

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With thanks for the translations from IFA federations and friends, and alsoi for recently received solidarity statements from organisations including the Solidarity Federation-IWA in Britain, Workers Solidarity Alliance (WSA) in the USA and the Coordination des Groupes Anarchistes (CGA, Anarchist Group Coordination) in France.

StateWatch have kindly done a follow-up investigation which contains some important new info,'Police use anti-terror powers to detain anarchists on return from conference in Switzerland': http://www.statewatch.org/news/2012/aug/08uk-arrest-of-anarchists.html

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http://www.afed.org.uk

Tuesday, 14 August 2012 19:58
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Public statement from IFA Congress Saint-Imier 2012, 9-12th August to other exploited and oppressed people of the World.

The St. Imier meeting has enabled a lot of groups and militants that are members and non-members of the International of Anarchist Federations (IAF-IFA) to meet each other. IFA would like to sum up the events of the last few days.

One hundred and forty years ago in this town an international movement of ‘anti-authoritarians’ was founded. It played a major part in the creation of an organised movement of anarchists. They worked then for profound social transformation, and in this manner we have participated, as IFA, in the international meeting in St-Imier. What we have to offer is the best sort of society that humanity is capable of achieving. We want to create a world in which there is complete economic equality, by which we mean that there should be no personal property but that we produce and own everything communally, with no need for money.

But as well as economic equality, there would be maximum personal freedom. This means that we live as we want and no one can make us do anything we don’t want to do, or prevent us from doing what we want to do unless this limits the freedom of others. So, there would be no hierarchy or oppression of any kind. There would be no need for a state or police because we would not need controlling or coercing. There would be no need for wars or global conflict because we would have no political enemies and no desire or need to seize any resources from anyone else. This is what we call Anarchism.

Anarchists reject the idea that it is human nature that one personal exploits another and that we are unequal. It is the case that rulers and states throughout history have maintained this system. This lie justifies Capitalism as a ‘natural’ system. We hear that there is a ‘crisis’ of Capitalism, but Capitalism is crisis. It is a recent system in historical terms and has already brought humanity to its knees many times before producing the current situation. But people all over the World are seeing through this lie and are resisting states and capitalism as never before and seek to coordinate their efforts across national boundaries. This makes an anarchist society more possible than ever.

But Anarchism is not utopianism. Obviously, for such a society to work, many things must first change, and our task now is to help bring about these vast transformations and provide an analysis that is useful to them. The working class, by which we mean all exploited and impoverished people, ourselves amongst them, has to operate as a mass movement. Crucially, it must not entrust the struggle to new leaders with old ideas, but by determining its own path.

Today, social movements are practising new ways of organising which draw heavily on anarchism, for example taking action directly against obstacles to their progress and experimenting with non-hierarchical organisational forms. They include student movements, action against destruction of the natural world and common resources, anti-militarist struggles, those against G8 summits and capitalism in general, and most recently the fight against austerity which unites the international working class. Movements such as Occupy and the Indignados and similar movements of self-organisation against the banking system have shown the importance of using direct action to reclaim public space. The uprisings of oppressed indigenous peoples in recent decades, such as the Zapatistas, have inspired the new social movements and have influenced anarchism itself. Such new movements create large assemblies to make decisions together without leaders. They practice horizontal decision-making. They link-up federally, as organisations of equal status without decision-making bodies at their centre.

But these attempts often fall short of what is possible because meaningful social change requires also that we change as individuals. We seek to be free and equal as individuals, but there must also be voluntary, personal responsibility and self-organisation. The working class itself contains divisions and oppressions and hierarchies which do not disappear just because we want to have no rulers and want to be equal. As members of the working class we therefore struggle internally against our own racism, sexism and patriarchal attitudes and practices. Equally we fight the assumption that heterosexuality is the norm, or that clearly defined categories ‘male’ and ‘female’ are ‘normal’. We must identify and oppose discrimination and stereotyping on the basis of age or ability. Until internalised inequalities and deference towards hierarchy are identified and abolished we cannot be free, and so we identify and oppose them in social movements and workers organisations as well as in society in general.

Finally, to create this free and equal society, the working class itself must bring down rulers and capital. We call this a ‘social revolution’. Anarchists try to build confidence within the working class in our ability to be successful as quickly and with the least violence possible. We do this through joining with other workers to win small victories. We do this best through direct action not through reforms and negotiation with bosses. Direct action means not waiting but taking what should belong to all of us. We need to support each other’s struggles through mutual aid. This means practical solidarity in times of hardship. As well as helping us on a day-to-day basis, this demonstrates to people what we are about. So we practice anarchy now as far as we can in how we organise and how we struggle to prove that an anarchist society is possible.

We salute those comrades from the past, their work and the personal sacrifices they made for human emancipation. We continue their work, and critically develop their ideas and apply them to our situation. They would in turn salute the global working class at this point in its history, as it strives for real freedom and equality.

IFA has dealt with many themes over the last 5 days and in particular:

  • The economic crisis and social struggle
  • International solidarity
  • Anti-militarism
  • Anti-nuclear and alternative energies
  • Migration

On this basis, the IFA has reinvigorated its own activities and invite all exploited people to struggle for transformation of society, for anarchism.

The International of Anarchist Federations (IAF-IFA), 12th August 2012.

http://i-f-a.org

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German translation:

Öffentliche Stellungnahme des IFA-Kongresses in St. Imier vom 9. bis zum 12. August 2012 - German version

Spanish translation:

Declaración pública de la IFA el Congreso de Saint-Imier 2012, del 9 al 12 de agosto a otras personas explotadas y oprimidas del mundo.

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See also: Regional press videos of the St. Imier events and a scanned newpaper article (in French):

Video 1: http://www.rtn.ch/rtn/Actualites/Regionale/20120813-L-anarchisme-tranquille-a-St-Imier.html

Video 2: http://www.rts.ch/video/info/journal-19h30/4193648-saint-imier-be-accueille-les-rencontres-internationales-de-l-anarchisme-durant-cinq-jours.html

Positive local press (reporting on summing up of gathering and also about Japanese contingent): http://www.afed.org.uk/pdfs/st_imier_anarchist_event_local_press_13_August_2012.pdf

Wednesday, 18 July 2012 09:43
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Informacion sobre la lucha de los mineros y la violencias policiales.
INFORMATION ABOUT THE STRUGGLE OF THE MINERS AND THE POLITICAL VIOLENCE

Translation from Spanish by the Anarchist Federation (Britain), July 2012

The social & employment situation in Spain has got worse. The situation of the miners is yet another attack on the working class and people in general. The governments' cuts are affecting many parts of society but always aimed at the working class and the most disadvantaged people: the unemployed, the young, pensioners, the disabled, public sector workers, etc. They want to take everything from us, but there is not even a single measure that would cost capitalists or the rich.

The mobilization of the miners is something very big, they've walked to the capital of the State from different mining towns across the country: Asturias, León, and Aragón. They walked for 15 days from town to town, city to city and in all places they received massive support from locals. They lived through highly emotional experiences because of the solidarity demonstrated in each of the regions.
In Asturias and León there are strong confrontations between the police and Civil Guards and the miners. The miners receive strong support from their communities, for example in Pola de Lena. There are constant blockades of roads and highways. The police & Civil Guards shoot rubber bullets and the miners respond with home-made rockets, sometimes weighted with golf balls. In some towns there has been face-to-face fighting.

Recently the miners' column entered the capital Madrid, it was very emotive and surprising in the amount of support and welcome from the citizens who shouted "Madrid obrero está con los mineros" (Madrid workers are with the miners). Thousands of people arched with them to the centre of the city, where some representatives expressed their gratitude and called for all workers in the country to rise against the government, which only defends the interests of the capitalists. The rally lasted until 4AM. At dawn, preparations were already being made for a new demonstration along the streets of the city.

500 coaches ("autobus") arrived from all the mining towns and once again the people of Madrid were with them. The demonstration marched to the Ministry of Industry to demand a meeting with the Minister, but they refused to talk. They are forcing a situation that could at any moment explode, since they refuse to listen to the voices of the people who shout in the street. And then they say that we are violent.
In that morning's demonstration, there were some confrontations with the police. Some people were wounded and some people were arrested. In the afternoon there was another large demonstration in the streets of Madrid. This ended in confrontations in the city centre, with some 50 or 60 people wounded and unknown numbers arrests.

Despite all this, the Ministry still will not negotiate and on top of that, the government has announced stronger austerity measures against everyone. Not a single word has been said about taxing the immense fortunes of the rich, or that making the bankers pay for the crisis they caused, or cutting the many privileges of the Catholic Church.

It could not be more clear whom the government serves and what they want from the working class. It could not be more clear, the need to organise our lives in a different way. It could not be more clear the need for a Social Revolution that gives us control of our own lives. Let's organise to fight against the State and the capitalists.

¡Viva la Anarquía!

Grupo Anarquista Tierra, Madrid. Secretariado IFA (Secretariat of the International of Anarchist Federations, http://i-f-a.org ).

Monday, 21 May 2012 21:59
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Her Majesty’s Pleasure*? Stuff that!

A noise demo to show solidarity with prisoners at HMP Brixton, because frankly we don’t feel like celebrating 60 years of having a queen, especially a queen who takes pleasure from imprisoning our mates, comrades, and other fellow human beings. What kind of a sick mind takes pleasure from locking people up in prison? Prisons destroy people. They destroy families, friendships, and communities too. Putting somebody in prison is an act of violence which contributes nothing real or positive and only brutalises those who are already struggling.

We don’t believe that prison is the answer to any question we have ever asked.

We want to show the people inside HMP Brixton that they are not alone, that they are not forgotten, that queen Liz and her government have not succeeding in hiding them away from us, that we support them and give a shit about them. That we think prison is a crime.

So, please join us on 5th June, part of the so-called “jubilee weekend” for a noisy and spirited demo at HMP Brixton. We’ll meet outside Brixton underground station at 3pm to walk up to the prison together. Please bring things to make noise with, your mates, and your righteous rage.

Organised by London ABC, who can be contacted

c/o Freedom Bookshop, Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX

or via our website at London Anarchist Black Cross | a prisoner support group

(* her majesty’s pleasure is the phrase used when someone is sentenced to prison, eg. you will serve 20 years at her majesty’s pleasure. Prisons in the UK are formally known as Her Majesty’s Prisons (HMP).)

Noise Demo at HMP Brixton – 5th June | London Anarchist Black Cross

Saturday, 19 May 2012 12:41
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On the 11th of May Roberto Adinolfi, CEO of an Italian state controlled nuclear engineering company, was shot and wounded. A cell of the insurrectionist Informal Anarchist Federation have claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement, saying that it was an act of vengeance for deaths and environmental damage caused by the nuclear industry. Previous acts claimed by Informal Anarchist Federation cells include sending a letter bomb to the Italian tax collection office, almost blinding a worker at the office1 and risking the lives of the postal and clerical workers who unwittingly carried the bomb.

Although it adopts the same initials as our affiliated Anarchist Federation in Italy, the Informal Anarchist Federation has no affiliation whatsoever with them or with us. It is an entirely separate entity, and we consider its adopting of the same initials as a pre-existing anarchist group to be, at best, confusing and ill-judged, and at worst malicious. Whether or not the Informal Anarchist Federation intended that their actions would be associated with the Italian Anarchist Federation and other members of the International of Anarchist Federations, these organisations have now been mentioned in press reports relating to the actions of the Informals, and so we now feel it necessary that we, the UK Anarchist Federation, make our position on their actions clear.

In our aims and principles, the Anarchist Federation states that “It is not possible to abolish Capitalism without a revolution, which will arise out of class conflict. The ruling class must be completely overthrown to achieve anarchist communism. Because the ruling class will not relinquish power without their use of armed force, this revolution will be a time of violence as well as liberation”. We are not a pacifist organisation and do not condemn insurrection itself or all insurrectionist tactics; however, as Anarchist Communists we strongly criticise individualist and vanguardist tactics that do not come out of a broad-based class struggle movement. We condemn actions that put workers in danger without their knowledge and consent, and we reject elitist statements, such as that made by the Informals, which consider the working class to be too ignorant and invested in Capitalism to be relevant to struggle.

Capitalism is, fundamentally, a social relationship; it can no more be harmed by small groups who are disconnected from the wider class struggle shooting individual bosses or sending bombs through the post than it can by passively marching from one place to another or consuming “ethical” commodities. Instead, the Anarchist Federation advocates organising with other working class people to take direct action for ourselves in order to both defend ourselves against attacks by capital and the state in our everyday lives and build a culture of resistance that can seriously challenge capitalism. As well as being tactically more effective than isolated acts of violence, organising in this way allows us a glimpse of a better world, free of exploitation, alienation and oppression. By acting collectively and making ourselves accountable to others, we prepare ourselves for a world where our whole lives are really under our own control.

 

The statement by the Informal Anarchist Federation can be found here

 

1 Correction: This statement makes reference to a worker at the tax office being injured, Although in other attacks workers have been injured, in this case the person who was injured was a leading official and the intended target of the attack. While the AF does not endorse the use of letter bombs in any way due to their indiscriminate nature, the original wording was misleading.

 

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