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Austin’s Picks: Impressions of the NA Anarchist Movement

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Impressions of the North American anarchist movement

Impressions of the North American anarchist movement

An interview with Andrew Flood about the impressions of the North American anarchist movement he formed during his 2007/2008 44 city tour of the US and Canada. The interviews ends with questions about the comparison of the movement in Ireland with that in Britian and the promotion of anarchism via the internet. This was submitted and published in Black Flag.

Q. Which places did you visit in your tour? Did any local anarchists groups host events? If so, which ones?

In total I spoke in 44 North American cities scattered across 2 Canadian provinces and 18 US states. These were on the east and west coasts and from the east coast across the mid-west as far as Minneapolis-St Paul’s.

There were lots of organizations, infoshops and organizations in formation involved on putting on the dates. Around one third were organized through the North East Federation of Anarchist Communists (NEFAC) while some local groups just organized a meeting in the one city they were active in. In the vast majority of cases I’d never met any of the organizers, everything was done over email, the entire Florida tour for instance was initated by one student who was on the Crimthinc mailing list and saw an announcement for my tour which was apparently posted there. He contacted me and then proceeded to contact email addresses he found in Florida and managed to get four dates together that way.

Q. Were the meetings well attended? Does there seem to be much interest in libertarian ideas?

Attendance varied from around 60 to around a dozen, perhaps giving a total close to 1400 people who attended a meeting during the tour. In quite a few stops it was the first public anarchist meeting organized in quite a while so apart from city size and local politics there would have been a good deal of variation in how experienced the local organizers were at putting together and promoting events like these. The people who turned up certainly seemed to be interested but they were rather a small fraction of the local population.

Q. What was the theme of the meeting? Were they well received?

The theme was ‘Building a Popular Anarchism in Ireland.’ Basically I was telling the story of the growth of the Irish anarchist movement in the period from 1997-2007 and in doing so making an argument for an outward looking, organized movement capable of working in alliances. Generally there seemed to be a very high level of interest, it was a great help that the subject matter contained loads of interesting anecdotes that reflected a decade of positive anarchist organization in Ireland.

Q. What is the US movement like from a class-struggle perspective?

Better than I expected. I think on arrival in North America I shared any of the prejudices that you find in the British anarchist movement towards North America, prejudices that are often based on a failure to try and understand conditions there. I expected a lot of North American anarchists to be liberal idiots but the reality I found was huge numbers of people doing quite solid local organizing, in particular when you considered their weak numbers and relative lack of experience. And a good few of the positions that seem a little odd from Europe make a lot more sense when you can put them in the contest of local conditions and North American history.

Q. What are, if any, the tactical and political priorities/differences in the US compared to Ireland/UK?

read the whole piece?  Good idea!

 

Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions on Israel

Monday, July 26th, 2010

OMJP fully supports the Olympia Co-Op and TESCDivest at The Evergreen State College in their efforts to implement BDS policies in support of the people of Palestine. Please visit the sites below for more information:

http://www.olympiabds.org/

http://www.tescdivest.org

US Social Forum Report Back

Monday, July 26th, 2010
July 28, 2010
7:00 pmto9:00 pm
7:00 pmto9:00 pm

Location: Fertile Ground Guesthouse and Community Center, downtown Olympia.

This will be a chance for community groups that attended the 2010 U.S. Social Forum in Detroit to exchange ideas and information with the Olympia Community. Presenting groups will include Bridges Not Walls, POWER, Gopher, and the Olympia Childcare Collective.

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