Where does peaceful protest get us?

On 26th March, the Trades Union Congress are calling a march in London against the government’s austerity measures. This has reignited one of the longest-running debates in activist politics: that of peaceful protest versus direct action. In particular, the line is drawn between those worried that a violent minority will hijack the event and distract … Continue reading

What is anarcho-syndicalism: building the new world within the shell of the old

The seventh and final part of a series exploring anarcho-syndicalism, its aims and principles, and the practicalities of enacting them in the real world. The basic foundation of anarcho-syndicalism is that ordinary people, through solidarity and direct action, have the power to improve our own lives. We do not need bosses, bureaucrats, or political parties … Continue reading

The principle and practice of “violence” against property

The recent student protests – in particular the siege of Millbank Tower and the riots on the day of the tuition fees vote – have provoked an awful lot of debate. Among other things, it brought the boogeyman of anarchism back into the media spotlight and helped to reinvigorate the fight against the cuts. What … Continue reading

Don’t vote, organise – the reasoning behind the slogan

It is a long-established truism that anarchists are opposed to electoralism. A myriad of slogans such as “whoever you vote for, government wins,” “don’t vote, it only encourages the bastards,” and “if voting changed anything they’d abolish it” have entered the public psyche. So much so, that they are taken up by cynics and the … Continue reading

What is anarcho-syndicalism: a radical vision of community organisation

The sixth part of a series exploring anarcho-syndicalism, its aims and principles, and the practicalities of enacting them in the real world. In part five of this series, I examined how to rebuild the community consciousness and sense of solidarity that once defined the working class. Here, I want to look at building upon that … Continue reading

The role of unemployment in capitalism

Unemployment in Britain currently stands at roughly two and a half million. This is not far from the three million mark of the Thatcher era, which became a watermark for social discontent. With public sector job losses – and the private sector fallout – expected to claim another million people, it is unsurprising that people … Continue reading

The motivations of an activist

A blog, though a useful outlet for thoughts and opinions, is never going to change the world. As I pointed out in Social network radicalism, it can be a useful tool to aid in such goals, but ultimately it can’t do the work for you on the ground. That is why, as well as venting … Continue reading

What is anarcho-syndicalism: forging community consciousness

The fifth part of a series exploring anarcho-syndicalism, its aims and principles, and the practicalities of enacting them in the real world. One of the first things that I pointed out in this series was that anarcho-syndicalism is more than just syndicalism. That is, it is not just concerned with the workplace and with class … Continue reading

Social network radicalism

As I write this, I’m on a train to Sheffield, playing with WordPress on my phone. Which, I think, shows how far we’ve moved from the days of bearded radicals hand-writing pamphlets in a candle-lit basement. (I exaggerate somewhat.) It also offers me the flimsiest of excuses to write about the use of social networks … Continue reading