Statements

The following are statements by the Anarchist Communist Group since its formation in February 2018,


8 April 2021 (this statement supersedes the earlier statement of 11 August 2019)

Trans Rights Statement

We, the ACG, reaffirm our support for trans and non-binary people. We recognise the oppression faced by the trans community. In our aims and principles we stress the importance of ending all oppressions as well as an end to capitalism and the State.

In an anarchist communist society there will continue to be differences between people, a flourishing of diversity as people are freed from the indoctrination and limitations of this society. However, these differences will not mean new hierarchies or inequalities. We fight today against all oppressions and inequality both because of the hardship and suffering it causes and because we need to unite as a class if we are to be effective in our struggles.

We fully recognise that the experience of transgender people has been one of inequality, discrimination and violence. The struggle for equality is difficult and needs to be supported.

The particular relationship between trans women and some other feminists has been fraught and has resulted in extreme polarisation, making it very difficult to unite against patriarchy, gender oppression and capitalism. Sensitivity and understanding of the oppression that different groups experience – those socialised as women, trans women, trans men, and non-binary people – is needed in order to move forward.

We believe that it is unhelpful to set up a false dichotomy, as has widely been done, between “feminism” and “trans rights”. These are not struggles inherently in opposition to each other, but which are worth fighting for together, while working towards a wider understanding of both the shared issues and the differences.

We must come together to end all oppression as well as to help create a united working class movement which can effectively challenge capitalism and hierarchical society.

———————

23 May 2020

ACG statement on the lockdown and its easing

For many in the working class the lockdown has never truly existed, because society relies on our class, many have not been able to stop working, either being forced to work at home or in many cases and more worryingly having to still go to their place of work. Some of these are quite rightly seen as essential jobs however the pay and conditions do not reflect this, while others such as builders who are building office blocks and luxury apartments are clearly only essential to the benefit of the capitalist system.

The contempt our rulers have for these key workers is shown by the proposed public sector pay freeze, and the fact that many of these key workers are paid the minimum wage (grandly and wrongly referred to as a ‘living wage’).

Capitalism always runs on the dead bodies of workers. Right now, we are seeing how willing the Conservatives are to throw more bodies under the wheels of the economy. What is currently happening in care services, social care and hospitals is democide against the working class, the vulnerable, elderly and disabled. Our leaders hope to throw teachers and those who provide support in schools, as well as construction workers (amongst others) back into the virus’s path.

The government is showing its complete contempt for the working class and the vulnerable by asking people to go back to work (or keep going to work) without proper testing, risk assessments having been undertaken, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and trace systems in place. It is laughable that the government expects us to have faith that our employers will keep us safe because some voluntary guidance is in place.

Nothing that has happened is surprising. This government, like all of them, is a loyal servant of the ruling class, the bosses. No government has ever put the needs of workers before profit unless the working class is strong enough and organised enough to force them to. No government can ever be trusted.

We shall not waste our breath calling on the government to protect us. We will not appeal to their ‘better nature’, by pointing out it is the elderly, disabled, their carers and families who are most at risk. Given the current level of organisation and combativity in the working class we also do not expect a general strike or widespread and co-ordinated resistance, although we hope to be proven very wrong.

As such we call on workers to do all they can to organise in self-defence. For all their limitations, unions may offer some defence for many at this time and it is worth joining one that is active in your workplace, or if not, an independent union in particular the IWW, IWGB, or, if in London, UVW or CAIWU.

Surviving under capitalism is something every worker must face. We cannot tell individuals the best way to react as we will each have to judge our own personal circumstances and react accordingly. We can however lay out some basic principles about work. However much some individuals might enjoy or find meaning from the labour they do, work under capitalism kills individual initiative and tries to turn thinking, feeling human beings into slaves. All of us who work are being robbed by a parasite ruling class.

No one should ever feel any obligation to their boss or their company, and they especially should not in the current crisis. Employers do not create work or jobs although there is a certain amount of labour that needs to be done to ensure that all people live well and happily. It is those jobs that have really been highlighted by this crisis (i.e. those that are now considered ‘key workers’). All employers do is grant to themselves the right to direct our labour and to organise production in a manner that profits them rather than meets the needs of people. We must revoke this right and take for ourselves the responsibility for organising production and doing so in manner that ensures as little work and as much benefit for all of humanity. That is the economic and political task that faces the working class.

The only way we can genuinely defend ourselves from the abuses of the ruling class is to organise.

Join us in the fight.

____________________

19 March 2020

Coronavirus and the ill health of capitalism

The COVID-19 crisis has thrown a glaring searchlight on the state of health of capitalism. Here we analyse in detail the origins of the disease, its global consequences and what we, the working class can do about it.

First of all we have to look at how COVID-19 originated and at the same time dispose of various conspiracy theories that are circulating like how it was invented by the Chinese government to cull the elderly and infirm. The Coronavirus crisis must not be used to scapegoat Chinese, Italian or Spanish people here in the UK and throughout the world.

In 1970 there was a famine in China which affected more than 36 million people. The Beijing regime failed to adequately deal with the famine. As a result, it let go of its state hold over agriculture and food and allowed private entrepreneurs to trade. A section of this new layer of private enterprise began to domesticate wildlife, which included snakes, turtles and bats. At first illegal, this trade was allowed to flourish by the regime and in 1988 it legalised the trade, saying that wildlife was now a ‘natural resource’. This boosted this trade.

As a result, huge markets appeared, selling all sorts of animals, including rhinoceroses, crocodiles, snakes, ducks, wolves and mice, alongside domesticated animals like pigs and chickens. These were packed closely together, often in the same cages. In this way, it was easier for diseases to pass from species to species, from animal to animal and then on to humans.

The SARS virus appears to have originated in 2003 in a market in Guangdong province, with its source the masked palm civet. SARS, itself a coronavirus, spread globally and resulted in 774 deaths. In response the regime banned the trade of wildlife as food.

Those capitalists making big profits out of the trade then lobbied the Chinese government to relax these laws, resulting in a decision to allow the trade of 54 species as food. Later, more animals were added to the list, including in 2016 elephants and pangolins (scaly anteaters).

As a result the COVID-19 epidemic broke out in 2019 and has now spread globally, with many thousands of deaths. It is believed that the disease was transmitted from a bat to a pangolin, and then spread to humans via a market in Wuhan. The Chinese government failed to learn from the original SARS outbreak, and seems unlikely to draw any further lessons for the future.

It should be seen that the long-term answer is not the development of vaccines, but the cutting off at the source of the growth of these viruses. This means that animal welfare is of the highest necessity. Swine flu probably originated in Mexico as a result of industrialised pig pens, and similarly the origins of bird flu and mad cow disease are down to similar reasons. AIDS was a virus that jumped from monkeys to chimps to humans as a result of the bush meat trade. The equation must be that animal welfare = human welfare.

The spread of COVID-19

The development of an increasingly globalised capitalism allowed the spread of the disease. As it spread from country to country, it was shown how many healthcare systems, after years of austerity measures, were not up to the task of coping. And of course, the continued need for capitalism to create profit has hindered measures to control and quarantine the disease.

The Coronavirus crisis has tested capitalism and its state structures to the limit. In Britain on both a national and local level, government has been shown to be wanting, as both the Johnson government and local councils have dithered, have failed to act or have remained silent. The media has highlighted the rash of panic buying, itself due to the encouragement of selfishness in neo-liberal economies and the attack on community outlooks. On the other hand, the ideas that we advance, those of mutual aid and solidarity, are illustrated by the growth of (at time of writing) over 500 mutual aid networks that have emerged rapidly in the UK. As one ACG member noted recently: “In the village where I live, Facebook organising has produced more than 350 names in four days, volunteering various kinds of help, including visits to elderly and disabled by local known people, street by street, free exchange of surplus daily necessities, a local shop and a community centre offered for food collection, assembling food parcels and deliveries, free taxi to Iceland to pick up supplies, meals for free school dinner kids, even dog walking (there are 1000’s of dogs here). Meanwhile, deafening silence from Local Authority and councillors, and the cuts to the NHS and social care have been laid bare for everyone to see.”

Capitalism itself has received a body blow from the COVID-19 crisis. Already in a stagnant state, the world economy has been damaged as profits and Gross Domestic Products are affected. Industrial production has slowed right down and a small initial recovery has been set back by this crisis. Any fall in profits will be answered by the boss class attacking the wages and conditions of the working class in the months to come.

At the same time, some capitalists, especially those in the pharmaceutical and health industries, have or will raise prices on hand gels, soaps and face masks and will do the same with any vaccines that are developed (as was illustrated in the past by the AIDS crisis).

The Government’s Response

Whilst some governments have closed downs educational establishments and all restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes, the Johnson regime has vacillated over this. In part this was influenced by the number of so-called experts gathered around the new regime, a collection of cranks and social-Darwinians encouraged by the closest adviser of Johnson, the Gollum-like Dominic Cummings. These fostered ideas of “herd immunisation” where mass infection will create immunity in the long run, failing to take note of the large number of deaths in the process, or rather seeing this as a way of culling the elderly and infirm. The government has been forced to backtrack on this. As well as this, the Johnson government does not want to order the closure of catering establishments because it will then have to offer substantial compensation. The Government’s announced an emergency £350 billion financial package most of which will end up in the private sector, just like Alistair Darling’s £500 billion to the banks in 2008. The bulk of Darling’s handout went into shareholders pockets and there was little to show in terms of employment growth or improved wages. Instead, the working class had ten years of imposed wage freezes and benefit cuts to pay for bailing out the banks.

Johnson has already shown his first priority. By refusing so far to order pubs and restaurants to close, he has tried to protect the profits of big insurance firms from claims by thousands of small businesses. He may well be forced to change tack, locking down city by city due to the rapid spread of the virus and massive pressure from small businesses. Whatever happens, just as in 2008 it’ll be us that will have to compensate the rich and pay the price for the economic meltdown.

Meanwhile 8,000 private hospital beds are being rented to NHS for £2.4million per day during the crisis.

The Johnson regime has failed to act decisively, offering advice rather than decisions, in terms of calling for people of over 70 to self-isolate, failing to close down restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes, as has been the case in other countries, and has only just announced that schools will be closed from next week.

Many people will voluntarily self-isolate, but there are big problems there already. One of the pieces of advice given out by the Johnson government was for self-isolators to order food online. However, the supermarkets are already massively overloaded, with many sites down, and for example, Sainsbury’s not being able to offer any more home deliveries right through the month of April. Rationing of essential items like soap, hand gel, painkillers etc has been slow in coming or not taken place at all, the responsibility of both the government and the supermarkets.

Many older people, disabled people who have a wide range of impairments including learning difficulties/disabilities, those who have mental health issues and long-term health conditions, will face loneliness and possible depression as a result of isolation. For others, the home is a place of danger, as for those suffering from physical and sexual abuse in their families. Any travel restrictions would further aggravate the chances of people escaping from their abusers.

The closure of day care centres, social centres, libraries, etc will further exacerbate this feeling of isolation and loneliness and unless the mutual aid networks are built up massively over the coming months, many may die in isolation.

For the homeless, of whom at least 5,000 are rough sleepers on the streets, the Coronavirus crisis will be a disaster, as they are among the most vulnerable, cannot self-isolate and if living in temporary accommodation or homeless shelters, face overcrowding and higher risk of contagion. Many homeless charities have withdrawn on street support in order to protect volunteers adding to the potential risks faced by rough sleepers. Meanwhile many buildings lie empty, as for example Balfron Tower in Tower Hamlets, sold off by the housing association Poplar HARCA for homes for the rich which still lies empty.

The State will attempt to strengthen its position by using the Coronavirus crisis to reinforce its powers. This is already the case in China, Spain and Italy where police and troops are controlling the movement of populations. In Italy some strikes have been banned under old legislation that has been resurrected, and the UCU strike in Britain has been severely affected by the crisis. The ballot in favour of strike action among postal workers is already being affected by the union bureaucrats and the State may well intervene to back them up.

While the media trains its unblinking focus on panic buying, thereby magnifying and amplifying the worst in human nature, most of us will also have seen the stirrings of mutual aid and solidarity in our communities. Perhaps a leaflet has been put through your letter box offering to collect shopping and prescriptions. Perhaps you’ve seen groups set up on social media. Perhaps you’ve volunteered to be a friendly ear to those who are isolated. These bottom-up, self-starting initiatives have not had the same media focus, perhaps because they demonstrate that precisely when we’re supposed to be at our most anxious and atomised, we somehow find ways to connect and share and work together.

These stirrings of solidarity and mutual aid are in stark contrast with the government’s response of abandoning working-class people to hardship and uncertainty. This is of course a health crisis, but it is also a looming economic crisis and potential social disaster. As measures to create more “social distancing” threaten to decimate many sectors, such as retail, catering and health & social care, or indeed anything requiring social contact, causing many to worry how they will pay bills, how they will afford housing, how they will put food on the table, not to mention who will provide much needed personal care and support for those vulnerable people in supported living and residential care etc, the government seems oblivious to the stark reality faced by ordinary people: if we can’t earn, we are very quickly in a dire situation.

Our stirrings of mutual aid and solidarity are rightly looking for ways to support the vulnerable, to give reassurance to each other, to build community at a time when we need our essence as social animals nurtured. But if the government will not bail us out during this Coronavirus crisis as they found themselves able to bail the banks out during the financial crisis, then we will need to use our new networks to shout that message too. And not just to point out the state’s inaction, but to show that there is action we can take ourselves. Standing together we are stronger and more able to face down demands from banks and landlords, from utility companies and councils. We can give our mutual aid networks real teeth.

Some of the demands we should put forward for the Coronavirus crisis:

  • Guaranteed continuance of sick pay from the first day for those affected by the virus. No victimisations or sackings for self-isolation.
  • Guaranteed income for those affected by closures in educational establishments, the catering industry, health and social care industry etc. This includes a guaranteed income for gig workers in these workplaces.
  • Increased funding of domestic violence services as result of increase in abuse as result of crisis (as in China and Italy already).
  • Those receiving benefits should not be required to sign on during the current emergency and should be automatically be given their benefits
  • Requisitioning of all empty property for the homeless, one of the most vulnerable sections of society most vulnerable to the crisis.
  • Private hospital beds should be requisitioned and put at the service of the NHS without charge.
  • An immediate moratorium on rent, mortgage payments and utility bills. Where these are not enforced, organising of rent and mortgage strikes, resisting disconnections of utilities. No evictions! No Disconnections!
  • Rationing of essential items like soap, hand gel, toilet paper, pain killers. An end to profiteering by companies around these essentials.
  • Reinforcing of the mutual aid networks.

While the state continues to act slowly and, in an ad-hoc manner with no regard for the working class here are some practical measures we can all take:

  • Get in touch with your local mutual aid group to see how you can help – Find your nearest group here.
  • Donate (if you can) blood.
  • Provide support for those self-isolating.
  • Take acts of solidarity such as resisting evictions and disconnections

17 February 2020

Second anniversary of the founding of the Anarchist Communist Group

February 17th marks the second anniversary of the founding of the Anarchist Communist Group. In a preamble to our founding statement we wrote:

“We are a revolutionary anarchist communist organisation made up of local groups and individuals who seek a complete transformation of society, and the creation of anarchist communism. This will mean the working class overthrowing capitalism, abolishing the State, getting rid of exploitation, hierarchies and oppressions, and halting the destruction of the environment.
To contribute to the building of a revolutionary anarchist movement we believe it is important to be organised. We are committed to building an effective national and international organisation that has a collective identity and works towards the common goal of anarchist communism, whilst at the same time working together with other working class organisations and in grass roots campaigns.
We do not see ourselves as the leaders of a revolutionary movement but part of a wider movement for revolutionary change. In addition, we strive to base all our current actions on the principles that will be the basis of the future society: mutual aid, solidarity, collective responsibility, individual freedom and autonomy, free association and federalism.”

When we founded the organisation we were a dozen anarchist communist militants, organised around three groups, in Leicester, London and Surrey. In the period between then and now we have more than trebled our membership and have created further groups in Devon, Glasgow, Kent, West Yorkshire, and West London with potential for another group in Norwich. Apart from these groups we have members in Bristol, Edinburgh, Invergordon, Orkney, Peterborough, and Winchester. We have organised two annual Day Schools and our groups have put on a large number of public meetings and discussion meetings.

We have produced nine pamphlets, a number of both local and territorial leaflets, and a whole range of stickers. We have published seven issues of our agitational newssheet Jackdaw and the first issue of our theoretical magazine Virus. In addition, the West Yorkshire group has produced 4 issues of its paper Rebel Rose, whilst London comrades have a big input into the London anarchist paper Rebel City.

We have consolidated and have begun to put on flesh on our frame. Of course, we would be the first to admit that we are a tiny group but we feel that we are punching above our weight.

We advocate the development of a mass revolutionary movement organised at the grass roots, with a dynamic libertarian communist organisation acting within it to coordinate, radicalise and draw lessons. We realise what we are up against in this task but we know that it can only happen through persistent and dogged hard work.

As we said on the first anniversary of the founding of our organisation:

“The level of class consciousness and any sense of class unity is low, while racism and xenophobia are sadly on the rise. Ongoing austerity, poverty, the housing crisis and homelessness barely register a blip in the media (and consequently in many people’s minds) compared to the insecurity of Brexit. Meanwhile, the global tendency towards right wing populism is almost as strong in this country as it is in others where populist leaders have come to the fore. And the supposed ‘antidote’ of a Corbyn led Labour Party is just more placebo, a palliative and ultimately a dead end for the working class and for any hope of moving in a revolutionary direction.”

Now Corbynism is reeling in shock from its electoral defeat. We live in hope that radicalised elements within the Labour Party will break with it and move in a revolutionary direction. That would be positive and we would do what we could to assist this. We can but live in hope. But what really counts is the development of revolutionary theory linked to a practice in grass roots movements, to organisation around the everyday problems of the working class. That is what will put libertarian communism on the map.

In order to do this, we need to strengthen and solidify the Anarchist Communist Group. If you are a serious libertarian revolutionary, disturbed by the lack of clarity and organisational malaise that rules in what passes for British anarchism, you should think seriously of joining the ACG.


11 August 2019 (this statement superseded by statement of 8 April 2021)

Statement on Transphobia

We in the ACG oppose transphobia. In our aims and principles we stress the importance of ending all oppressions as well as an end to capitalism and the State.

In an anarchist communist society there will continue to be differences between people, a flourishing of diversity as people are freed from the indoctrination and limitations of this society. However, these differences will not mean new hierarchies or inequalities. We fight today against all oppressions and inequality both because of the hardship and suffering it causes and because we need to unite as a class if we are to be effective in our struggles.

We fully recognise that the experience of transgender people has been one of inequality, discrimination and violence. The struggle for equality is difficult and needs to be supported.

The particular relationship between trans women and women who are born female and socialised as women has been fraught and has resulted in extreme polarisation, making it very difficult to unite against patriarchy, gender oppression and capitalism. Sensitivity and understanding of the oppression that different groups experience – females socialised as women, trans women, trans men, and non-binary – is needed in order to move forward.

We must come together to end all oppression as well as help create a united working class movement which can effectively challenge capitalism and hierarchical society.


18 April 2018

Syria: No War But The Class War!

A hundred cruise missiles were launched against the military installations of the Assad regime. In the aftermath the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, stated that the United States was “locked and loaded”. Together the US, France and Britain have engaged in bombings that will be of no benefit to the Syrian masses suffering under the murderous regime of Bashar Assad.

It can be seen that all three regimes in the USA, France and Britain have their own domestic problems, and that a military adventure is always a good ploy to divert attention. Trump is wrestling with the ongoing Muller investigation, the revelations of ex-FBI Director Comey, and ongoing legal wrangles with porn star Stormy Daniels and polls that show his lack of popularity. Theresa May is faced with serious divisions in her own Party, deepening problems over Brexit, not to mention that she is hanging on to power thanks to an alliance with the DUP. Macron faces increasing unrest at home with what looks increasingly like a re-run of May 1968.

Trump was elected President on a populist programme, but part of that programme was that he would withdraw troops from Iraq and not be involved in military adventures in the Middle East. This was in stark contrast to Hillary Clinton who maintained an aggressive stance towards Russia and calls for a no-fly zone over Syria that would have caused confrontation with Russia, Assad’s ally. Now Trump has betrayed his populist base, to the horror of some of his previous conservative backers.

Haley has stated that the US would maintain its troops in Syria and would start sanctions against Russian firms doing business with Assad.

Some of the most virulent critics of Trump have been papers like the Washington Post. In a lead editorial just after the bombings it criticised the joint US, French and British attack as inadequate and attacked Trump for saying that he had been ready to withdraw American troops from Syria. Similar views were aired in anti-Trump paper the New York Post. It is clear that a substantial part of the US ruling class wish to pursue a more aggressive attitude towards Russia and its allies. They are concerned by the new alliance between Russia, Turkey and Iran and the weakening US influence in the Middle East.

For the last quarter of a century, the US and its allies have been engaged in constant warfare, using fabricated excuses like the bogus weapons of mass destruction to dismantle the regime of their former ally Saddam, overthrow Gaddafi in Libya because of an “imminent” massacre of civilians and now the gas attacks by the Assad regime.

The attacks on the Syrian regime were not a last minute response but the result of plans prepared over many months as can be seen by the high level of coordination between the three state powers.

Large sections of the US ruling class including the leaders of the military have little confidence in Trump being able to oversee moves against Russia and its allies. That is why the campaign against Trump is increasing in intensity at the same time as aggressive moves by the US and its allies. This has been explicitly stated by neo-conservatives who link the removal of Trump to the expansion of war moves.

In the USA, France and Britain there is widespread anti-war feeling and this has been aggravated by the bombing attacks. In Germany, sections of the ruling class there have expressed the need to re-arm and, at the same time, pursue foreign policies less dependent on the USA. This turn is justified by lauding German “high moral and humanitarian standards”.

Assad is a bloody dictator and it is highly possible that he used gas attacks against the Syrian population. However those who condemn Assad are the same States that justified mass bombings of Hamburg and Dresden and two atom bomb attacks on Japan during World War Two, the use of the chemical Agent Orange in Vietnam, as well as the deployment of napalm there and previously in Greece, and the use of white phosphorus in Fallujah by Saddam, then the ally of the West. More recently, the British government has had few qualms about providing the weaponry used by the Saudi Arabian military to kill numerous civilians in Yemen.

The USA realised it has lost influence in the Middle East. It and its allies initially backed the Islamist militias in their attempts to overthrow Assad. Now ISIS is a shadow of its former self and Assad controls 75% of Syria. Russia had been warned before the bombing attacks with the hint that its own forces and bases there would not be touched. Nevertheless it was implied that the USA was still the only surviving superpower and that Russia should not overstep the mark.

Russia will not easily abandon its ally, Syria. It needs the Mediterranean ports that Syria provides. On the other hand the USA would like to confine Russia to the Black Sea and is seriously concerned about the new alliance, temporary though it may be, between Turkey and Russia and the increasing strength of the Shiite axis in Iran, Iraq and with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Israel launched its own attacks on its old enemy, Syria, obviously with the approval of the USA. For its part, Turkey is looking to increase influence and presence in Syria and has moved against the Kurdish controlled enclave of Afrin, exploiting the tensions between the great powers.

Whatever the outcome, it is clear that the different world and regional powers are gearing up for more armed conflict. In Syria over 400,000 people have been slaughtered and many more have been displaced. The situation is the same in Iraq. The masses there have nothing to gain from the murderous and barbarous depredations of the different armed gangs, whether they be Russian, American, Turkish or Islamist etc. Only revolution to overthrow all these regimes offers any alternative.

For now, we call on all internationalist and class conscious workers, communists, anarchists and revolutionary socialists to come together under the ‘No War But The Class War’ banner to promote working class resistance to the bosses’ war machine.

War Is The Health of The State!

No War But The Class War!


3rd April 2018

Afrin: An Internationalist Position

We deplore the invasion of the city of Afrin by the Turkish state and its armed forces. The main reason for this military adventure is Turkish government concerns that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – primarily controlled by Kurdish forces, which include the PYD (Democratic Union Party), the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), closely affiliated to the PKK, the Kurdish nationalist party operating within the borders of the Turkish state – have attempted to set up a zone of influence close to Turkey’s borders. Having a Kurdish zone so close by scares the Erdogan regime in Turkey, which dreads the encouragement this would give to the 16 million Kurds living within the borders of Turkey.

For its part, Russia has entered into alliance with Turkey, which represents problems for its client, the Assad regime in Syria. Russian air forces controlled the skies above Afrin, so the capture of this city by the Turkish army is with the tacit approval of Russia.

The Assad regime is concerned about US support for the YPG. The USA has backed the SDF in its attacks on the ISIS jihadists, as well as furthering its interests and influence in the region. It has established ten temporary bases in order to facilitate these aims.

The Assad regime wants to see the withdrawal of all occupation forces in Syria, including those of the Americans and Turks. Russia, who up to now fully supported Assad has established relations with Turkey and wants an end to the war in the region which until recently involved its own intervention in the region with the use of air strikes and the deployment of special forces. The Assad regime is itself concerned about the development of Kurdish enclaves but is aware that the Turkish state wishes not just to destroy those enclaves but to dismantle Syria, with its support for jihadist armed forces.

The USA has supported the Kurdish forces not out of some concern for “democracy” but to use these forces to combat ISIS and to gain access to oil and gas resources. The YPG for their part were happy enough for this support. Now though, the USA is concerned that its alliance with the Turkish state is jeopardised by the Turkish government’s increasingly cordial relations with Russia and this accounts for the US decision to end support for the Kurds.

For us as internationalists our first aim must be to condemn and mobilise against the Turkish invasion and against continued British arming of the Turkish state.

As our comrades in the anarchist communist group in Turkey, Yeryüzü Postası, note:

“We can see that power-holders in different countries are rubbing their hands with glee about the Afrin operation. It is understood that Russia and USA are constructing their plan on dividing Syria in line with their spheres of influence and probably they have agreed on it. As far as we’ve inferred from statements of England, they are willing to take a share from oil reserves and other natural resources – possibly, again, via a partnership between Shell and Koç Holding. France wants to re-establish its activity in the region.”

For its part, the Democratic Self-Administration of the Afrin province, which is the de facto government of the area and controlled by the SDF has actually called on Assad to come to their aid. In other words, support from a murderous regime that they want autonomy from.

As one Kurdish anarchist has remarked,

“I can conclude that in Bakur and Rojava a couple of high-disciplinary and authoritarian political parties, PKK and PYD, are behind building democratic confederalism in both Kurdistan, Bakur and Rojava. It is these parties that are the ones making major decisions, planning and designing the policies, and also setting up diplomatic relationships with other countries and other political parties. It is they who negotiate with their enemies or the states, and make war or peace. Of course, these are very big issues and extremely important as they shape the future destination of the society. However, unfortunately it is the political parties which are making these decisions and not the people in their own assemblies and mass meetings, or through direct action.”

The imperialist powers are as usual taking sides according to what suits their interests and not what is best for the people of the Middle East. As anarchist communists we do not support any faction in an in inter-imperialist war, even if some of them might appear to side with those being attacked by ISIS or by Turkey. We also do not support nationalist political parties who have the goal of establishing new States, no matter how libertarian the rhetoric may be. There may well be examples of self-organising in areas of Rojava but the problem is that they are still ultimately controlled by authoritarian political parties who have made a cult out of their leader Öcalan. It is not a move towards genuine self-organisation if you are able to do it because the great leader has said that this is what you should do. The situation is very complicated and though we must stand in solidarity with all those who are being killed and resisting Turkish forces, Syrian forces, ISIS etc, we do not then support uncritically the nationalist parties such as the YPD which have assumed the leadership of the resistance.

It is the masses of the Afrin province and of Syria, the peasants and workers who suffer from the depredations of all these murderous gangs, whether they be those of the Turkish state, the different jihadi outfits, the USA and Russia, the Hezbollah and Iranian units. It is the masses who suffer displacement, massacre, bombing, mass rape and the destruction of their land and homes. Neither can there be reliance on the Kurdish nationalists who seek time after time to form alliances with different regional and world powers, only to be betrayed on every single occasion. The only answer to the unfolding situation is the development of a strong working class movement against war and against capitalism itself.


20th February 2018

Founding Conference of New Anarchist Organisation, the Anarchist Communist Group

On Saturday 17th February, anarchist communist militants met in Leicester to found a new organisation, the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG).

Those present adopted  Aims and Principles and a constitution. The preamble to the Aims and Principles reads:

“We are a revolutionary anarchist communist organisation made up of local groups and individuals who seek a complete transformation of society, and the creation of anarchist communism. This will mean the working class overthrowing capitalism, abolishing the State, getting rid of exploitation, hierarchies and oppressions, and halting the

destruction of the environment. To contribute to the building of a revolutionary anarchist movement we believe it is important to be organised. We are committed to building an effective national and international organisation that has a collective identity and works towards the common goal of anarchist communism, whilst at the same time working together with other working class organisations and in grass roots campaigns. We do not see ourselves as the leaders of a revolutionary movement but part of a wider movement for revolutionary change. In addition, we strive to base all our current actions on the principles that will be the basis of the future society: mutual aid, solidarity, collective responsibility, individual freedom and autonomy, free association and federalism.”

The discussion document “Potential Activities Of A New Organisation” was discussed and adopted. Initial emphasis would be on agitational literature and activity around Land Justice, housing and the NHS. In addition, there was a commitment to street agitation-stickers and posters.

It was decided that the ACG should focus on the campaign against Universal Credit using the Disabled People Against Cuts slogan “Stop It and Scrap It”. Leicester ACG agreed to make and circulate leaflets and stickers in regards to Universal Credit, capable of being locally adapted.

It was also agreed to hold Annual Day Schools. The first of these will be in early November 2018 in London on the subject of “Advancing The Class Struggle: Problems and Issues for the Anarchist Communists”.

It was agreed to bring out a newspaper that will be primarily agitational. The first issue should appear in April of this year. In addition we will be establishing a new website soon. We will also soon be producing a series of pamphlets.

It was agreed to seek affiliation to the International of Anarchist Federations and to attend the forthcoming international conference in Slovenia.

A motion was passed on Anarchist Communist Unity. It reads:

“Whilst recognising the differences between our organisation and others on the libertarian communist spectrum in Britain – Anarchist Federation, Solidarity Federation, Libertarian Socialist Federation, etc. – we should seek to promote where possible: joint solidarity work with comrades facing repression, imprisonment, bad health, either here or in the rest of the world; joint solidarity work over workplace struggles – joint bulletins where possible, joint fundraising and publicity etc.”

The conference was marked by a spirit of enthusiasm and by a business-like approach. We intend making ourselves known through our activities, propaganda and development of theory.

Enquiries about the ACG, membership, etc. should be sent to communistanarchism@gmail.com



1st January 2018

Resignations from the Anarchist Federation

We are a significant number of Anarchist Federation members, including all surviving founding members, who resigned from that organisation on 17/12/17.

This was due to disagreements over the recent political direction of the AF. These disagreements came to a head over the differences in responses to events at the London Anarchist Bookfair in October.

We disagreed with the statements put out by Edinburgh AF and the ‘Trans Action Faction’. We put forward an alternative statement for discussion which was received with extreme hostility and uncomradely behaviour from a vocal minority. We were no longer able to work in that environment.

Those of us who have left the AF are re-grouping and re-organising in early 2018. We will focus less on what is essentially a small, vague anarchist sub-culture, but instead, will re-orient towards an outward looking, wider working class politics.