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Issue two: winter 2012

Download issue two as a .pdf

Who are the wolves? an introduction

“There can be nothing more normal than resisting oppression”: an interview with those responsible for the Disaccords blog.

Attacking the institutions of genocide: an anarchist perspective on solidarity with anti-colonial struggles.

Apocalypse activism: a review of the film END:CIV

Issue one: Autumn 2011

Issue one: Autumn 2011 on zinelibrary


To begin with…
An introduction.

Anarchists Lost in Space
The relationship between social movements and anarchist spaces.

Cake or Death
On the gap between how we talk about politics with each other and how we talk to other people.

Signs of the Defeat of the Libyan Revolution
A Libyan anarchist against Western intervention.

An interview with the Mutiny zine collective
Some hard questions for the editors of another local anarcho-publication.

Sectarianism and Solidarity
A review of Anarchist Summer School.

From the Streets of Athens
Two statements responding to recent events in Greece.

Untangling the Knots
To identify and expel liberal ideology from revolutionary practice.

Introduction to issue two

We are some anarchists writing and living in Sydney. We are interested in exploring the particulars of our situation here while remaining connected to struggle everywhere. We are interested in reflecting on the spaces we inhabit within capitalism, on what cracks appear and what opportunities for resistance are present. When we return to anarchism, it’s not as an identity or a creed but as a space we move through, a point of attraction, an accumulation of ideas of liberation and attack.

We are told that there is crisis. That it lurks in the dark, waiting to strike. That we must huddle even closer together and cling to the structures we know and it may just pass us by. That it already exists over there, yet we have a chance if we stay suspicious and vigilant.

But crisis is already here. How could it not be, in a place whose wealth is based on the profits of genocide and violent displacement? And it flows down the line from those brutal origins to our everyday. It is in the daily tasks of keeping those proverbial wolves from the door. Of the struggle to pay the rent, to get what we need to live, to have the time to play when and where we want, to love who and how we want. It is the struggle against the alienation of capitalism that made our lives into a race we never chose to begin. And this struggle leaves us withdrawn and defensive, afraid to take any more risks.

It’s not that we are always obedient. We express our frustration and dissent in numerous ways. We look to the spaces where we might be able to connect with others who we know must feel similar. There is ‘The Left’ and protests and campaigns to be part of and sometimes they do improve our collective capacity to survive capitalism – both in material terms and psychologically. But sometimes these seem to be completely apart from the struggles of our lives.

And they too are imbued with a defensiveness that is the product of this ever-present sense of crisis. Campaigns that end up resembling little more than a collective version of keeping the wolves at bay – whether it’s preventing more land becoming a mine or uranium dumping ground, campaigning to end mandatory detention or fighting against job cuts. Important connections are made and we build solidarity but struggle to know how to change gears, how to attack.

And there are times when we do make the sense of crisis more visible and more present. Spectacular explosions of resistance, times of inspiration and genuine excitement… yet these never sustain on their own and we find it hard to make them resonate when we return to the normality of our everyday lives.

We want to invert this problem. We want to bring these moments of collective strength and freedom to the everyday struggles of our lives.

In talking about ‘activism’ it’s tempting to say that we want to break from it completely. But the thing is, it has its moments: it’s just that these moments are in the times it breaks from the routines and limits of activism. When a demonstration about an issue becomes a fight for communal space against police control: for example, a student protest that becomes an occupation that re-claims the university. Sometimes a desire for change that has been focussed onto a single issue breaks out to be expressed as a desire for a whole new life.
The perimeter doesn’t need to be breached, the fortress walls do not need to be torn down because we’re already here. We are the wolves at the door. We are the crisis.

“There can be nothing more normal than resisting oppression”

Disaccords is a relatively new anarchist blog that collates news from around Australia, S-E Asia and the Pacific. It reports on acts of resistance and cracks in the social peace that would often otherwise go unnoticed. Here we interview them via email.

1. What was the purpose of starting this blog in terms of the context of radical politics in Australia and the anarchist milieu here? Where did the inspiration for Disaccords come from and what do you see as its relationship to other similar blogs?

I guess most of us who live in Australia and are anarchists or whatever are pretty familiar with the feeling that not much happens here. We look to places far away: parts of Europe with strong anarchist cultures, or South/Central America with vibrant combatative social movements, even North America. But this is where we live, and so this is where we struggle.

The dominant liberal narrative in Australia is that everything is basically at peace. There might be a few examples of really overt inequality – say, the conditions Aboriginal people live in. And there might be occasional outbursts of public anger and disorder – say the G20 riots, or the Redfern or Macquarie Fields riots, (or even the Cronulla riot, though more on that later). But these are seen as just exceptions, they’re little islands. They function as a contrast that just show that everyone else is generally calm and happy. And therefore any discontent you feel with your life is your problem to deal with as an individual: there’s no underlying social unease that might connect your unhappiness to anyone else’s. (Continued)

Attacking the institutions of genocide: an anarchist perspective on solidarity with anti-colonial struggles

This article is written as a prompt for discussion, in hope that many probably more specific and sophisticated analyses can come after: analyses that are not afraid to approach solidarity in ways that recognise that Aboriginal peoples are the most collectively oppressed people within Australia, whilst also growing an anti-authoritarian analysis in relation to all struggles. Including this understanding within analysis of the larger collective oppression helps us form solidarity against these acts of separation.

This article only touches on matters of culture when attempting to name cultural genocide and the resistance to this violence. It is also an attempt to address some components of interaction between struggles. An awkwardness in relation to the recognition of cultural differences that also seems to tie into a lack of ingenuity around finding ways to express and share solidarity.

Time and hurt are related

Archaeological studies currently show that people have lived in Australia for at least 60,000 years. Culturally there is much diversity in creation or dreamtime understandings within language groups. These cultures have been kept alive for thousands of years, passed down through generations. (Continued)

Apocalypse activism; a review of the film END:CIV

END:CIV is a film doing the rounds of radical spaces and a distillation of certain currents of thought. It’s a propaganda film, and quite a well made one. But it’s primarily a film that wants to convince activists just to be more hardcore activists: and therefore I don’t think it’s going to get us anywhere much good at all. (Continued)