Freedom News UK

In defence of ‘In defence of Extinction Rebellion’

What have you done to this sunflower?

From Freedom News UK

It would be prudent for me to open with the affirmation that this is an ‘opinion piece’. It is the opinion of one aging anarchist who has been active in class struggle and ecological resistance for the best part of four decades. As the bandwagon of political focus has shifted over the years, my own passions have gone in and out of fashion. One minute dancing with 40,000 comrades as we Reclaimed The Streets, the next protesting fracking with four people and a baby in a pushchair outside a branch of HSBC facing 2 x mounted police, 2 x police liaison officers, 2 x uniformed police and 2 x CID, who were sat watching from a car across the street. I have written in various guises throughout this time; defending animal and earth liberation when class struggle anarchy was in vogue, and arguing for greater class consciousness when the environment last took centre stage in the 1990s.

The anarchists targeted by Pegasus

The anarchists targeted by Pegasus

From Freedom News UK

On 9 May 2016, the “Day of Flowers” that commemorated the late Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev’s birthday, two anarchists celebrated the festivities and paid their respects to the dead dictator by decorating one of his statues. “Happy Day of Slaves,” they wrote on the pedestal, “Fuck this system!”

The anarchists in Alicante

writing about specific places is always an intriguing read

From Freedom News UK

Because of its geographical position by the Mediterranean and as a border town, people from Alicante have always been restless and turbulent. Without a doubt, this condition fostered the early appearance of socialism in our land, mostly in the cities of Alcoy and Alicante. It could even be said that one of the doors of entry in Spain was Alicante, as the first Luddite demonstrations were in textile factories in Alcoy in 1821, repressed by the army. On the other hand, one of the first utopian socialist experiments is found in Alicante, involving the Scottish philanthropist William Maclure, who started several farm schools in the province between 1820 and 1824, influenced by Robert Owen or Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi.

The 2021 Anarchist Bookfairs List

teaching birds to read = civ

From Freedom News UK

In 2020 real-life anarchist bookfairs were, sadly, largely out of the question and very little happened which wasn’t virtual, including in Dundee, Edinburgh and London which ran extensive showings. This trend continued into the first half of the year, with the recent Edinburgh Anarchist Feminist Bookfair putting on an excellent event on May 29th-30th (viewable here, and recommendable for podcast-type listening if you’re into that sort of thing).

Anarchist Social Centre in London

from Freedom News

‘Movement building, community building’: the anarchist social centre in London

Tucked away in a quiet corner of Elephant & Castle lies 56A Infoshop. Volunteer-run and 100% unfunded, it is a radical social centre, bookstore and archive. The concept behind the infoshop is to create a space for alternative cultural, social and political activities.

Book Review: Emma Goldman, ‘Mother Earth’ and the Anarchist Awakening

Book Review: Emma Goldman, ‘Mother Earth’ and the Anarchist Awakening

From Freedom News UK

It is hard not to feel some sympathy for Emma Goldman after her treatment at the hands of some historians and writers. All too often they have filleted her ideas to “prove” their pre-conceived thesis or simply failed to acknowledge the complexity of the “Light and Shadows” in her life that Candace Falk writes about in Volume Three of the Emma Goldman Papers.(“Light and Shadows, 1910-1916”. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012) There is however some evidence that this situation is gradually being remedied beyond the work of The Emma Goldman Papers. Kathy Ferguson’s “Emma Goldman: Political Thinking In The Streets” (London: Rowan and Littlefield, 2011) accepts the underlying principles of the anarchism that drove Goldman and her comrades and discusses how Goldman attempted to make these ideas and principles a reality. Now this important and essential volume by Rachel Hsu goes back to the primary sources in an attempt to allow the ideas and actions of Goldman to speak for themselves. It is a timely reminder that Goldman is her own person with all that entails and not just an inspiring quote on facebook, usually taken out of context.

Kropotkin and Freedom

the OG bakery

From Freedom News UK

Rounding off our month of articles commemorating 100 years since Kropotkin died, Selva Varengo writes on the political philosopher’s long association with the Freedom Group through the Freedom newspaper and how many of his key works were outlined in its pages. A partial digital archive of the many issues he contributed to can be found here, while many individual essays are collated in Freedom Press title Act For Yourselves.

I was a teenage Luddite

From https://freedomnews.org.uk/i-was-a-teenage-luddite/

Two books are on the black desk of my teenage bedroom. Age fifteen, I pick them up, hold them, put them back down. George Orwell’s 1984, of 1949 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, of 1932. A third one is invisible. I never owned it, reading it on the internet in a secret act in which even I felt the irony. It was a treatise by one Theodore John Kaczynski, titled, Industrial Society and its Future...

Obituary: Alexandre Skirda (1942-2020)

Obituary: Alexandre Skirda (1942-2020)

From Freedom News UK, Dec 30th

The influential French historian and translator, best known for his research on revolutionary Ukraine in the early 20th century, died on Wednesday December 23rd.

Alongside his extensive series of works on Russian radicalism, the Makhnovtchina and Krondstadt, Skirda published Facing the Enemy: A History of Anarchist Organisation (Autonomie Individuelle et Force Collective: Les Anarchistes et l’Organisation de Proudhon a nos Jours), the as yet untranslated biography of Jan Vaclav Makhajski Le Socialisme des Intellectuels and a number of highly critical works on Leninism, listed (in French) here.

An anarchist & trade-unionist critique of education

An anarchist & trade-unionist critique of education

From Freedom News UK by Mohamed Khougali

This essay is an attempt to further elucidate and elaborate on a previous article written about the British Eurocentric education curriculum. In the instigating article, I write about the usurpation of history through academic revival and conserving a certain historic and narrative arc. I go on to talk about the purposeful deification of white accomplishment and what that means to the students. I suggest four chief concerns that come out of this practice of historic ‘cleansing’? “(1) whitewashing, (2) loss of history, and intellectual ignorance, (3) frozen time, consequently moulding of identity, and (4) intellectual privilege”.

Anarchist on trial for death of fascist

Chilean anarchist on trial for death of fascist in Spain

From Freedom News UK

Chilean anarchist on trial for death of fascist in Spain

Chilean anarchist Rodrigo Lanza is facing 20 years in prison for the death of a fascist in Zaragoza, Spain. This is not the first time Rodrigo is imprisoned: at 21 years old, he was allegedly framed in 2006 for throwing a stone that left a police officer tetraplegic during a squat raid in Barcelona. The many irregularities in the Barcelona 4-F case were exposed in the documentary Ciutat Morta, along with the police violence suffered by the prisoners, which we covered back in 2014.

Obituary: Lucio Urtubia Jiménez

Obituary: Lucio Urtubia Jiménez

From Freedom News UK by Philip Ruff

The film-biography of Lucio Urtubia (“Lucio” 2007) turned him into a legend as some sort of anarchist Robin Hood. But until the age of fifty, Lucio had spent most of his time trying to keep out of the limelight. The spectacular conclusion to his life of crime in 1981, with the Citibank forgery trial, was a pyrrhic victory for the prosecution; Lucio was the real winner against all the odds.

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