Deportation of LGBT activist Ira Putiloss imminent
Friend and LGBT activist Ira Putiloss is currently being taken to Yarls Wood detention centre on fast track deportation process. She escaped Russia a few months ago after being hounded by Russian state- for her political and LGBTQ identity. She has been systematically attacked and harassed by police and neo nazis in Russia. If she returns she will face immediate arrest, detention, torture and potentially death.
If there’s anything we can do from afar let us know.
There was a vision, called “communism,” which was held by Kropotkin and other anarchist-communists in the 19th and early 20th century. Marx and Engels shared essentially the same goal. In the stateless, classless, society of communism, the means of production would be held in common (by the community), work would be carried out due to social motives rather than for wages, and consumer goods would be available to all according to their needs.
But during the Cold War, “communism” came to mean something entirely different. Great nations were ruled by self-named Communist Parties. Their economies were managed by totalitarian states, their powerless workers produced commodities sold on the internal and international market, and they worked for wages (that is, they sold their labor power as commodities to their bosses).
In that era, “Communists” were mostly people who supported those types of state-capitalist tyrannies. They included pro-Moscow Communist Parties, Maoists, other Stalinists, and most Trotskyists. They called themselves “Communists,” and so did most of their opponents. On the other hand, “anti-Communists” were not simply those who opposed such regimes but those who supported Western imperialism — a group ranging from liberals to deranged fascists. At the same time, the pro-Moscow types denounced libertarian socialists as “anti-Communist” as well as “anti-Soviet.” Some people took to calling themselves “anti-anti-Communists,” as a way of saying that they did not endorse the Communists but were against the McCarthyite witchhunt.
Now we are in a new period. The Soviet Union has collapsed, with its ruling Communist Party. True, such states still exist, with modifications, in China, Cuba, and elsewhere. Unfortunately, they inspire many people. But overall, the number and weight of Communist Parties have diminished.. In contrast, there has been an upswing in the number of people who identify with anarchism, with its mainstream in the anarchist-communist tradition. Other people remain impressed by Marx, but look to libertarian and humanistic interpretations of his work. How then shall we use the term “communism” today? Is its meaning the same as in earlier periods? I will review the history of the term and of its meanings.
Massive social unrest has hit Brazil in recent months and anarchists are taking the lead. Anarchists have taken to the streets in greater numbers and are using more militant tactics. Mass protests in Brazil erupted in the summer during a protest against public transportation cuts. These first protests attracted a mixed group of people from across the political spectrum, including fascists, but more progressive forces came into the movement as well and changed the discussion.
Brazil’s indigenous movements have been reignited by the recent wave of social unrest. Unions are also going on very militant strikes. The latest account of militant unrest is the protest by the Brazil’s teachers involved in Sindicato Estadual dos Professionais de Educação do Rio de Janeiro (SEPE) and their black-clad anarchist supporters. The anarchists were having militant marches in support of their teachers. This was widely criticized by the mainstream media, who accused “black bloc” anarchists of hijacking a “peaceful teachers’ strike” and turning the demonstrations violent.
The teachers of SEPE had a different opinion: the federation decided unanimously to endorse the anarchist demonstrations. It is important to realize that the teachers’ union endorsement of ”black bloc” tactics exists not just in this union but also in the context of Brazil’s growing anarchist movement. Anarchists in Brazil have also recently called for free public transportation.
The general coordinator of SEPE, Alex Trentino, also said that the Black Blocs were not the cause of conflict, but the police .
According to him, many of the teachers said they were protected by the ’ anarchists against the excessive violence committed by the police. It was also reported that the youth gave first aid to people injured during the confusion.
And even if you don’t join one of the unions you can still strike. Management shouldn’t have a list of who’s in the unions anyway and you do have some protection if you’re eligible to join a union which is taking legally prescribed action. (That said if you’re not in the union and management do victimise you the union (probably) won’t defend you, so you should join.)