WSF (1997): “International anarchist/syndicalist news: Spain/ Belorussia/ Poland/ Canada”

WSF (1997): “International anarchist/syndicalist news: Spain/ Belorussia/ Poland/ Canada”

From Workers Solidarity, magazine of the Workers Solidarity Federation, volume 3, number 1, first quarter 1997. Complete PDF is here


SPAIN: Victory to the CNTIberia airlines got more than it bargained for when it suspended a delegate of the Anarcho-syndicalist CNT-AIT union in Madrid in April. The 21 day suspension was harassment inded to curtail union activity but the company was forced to back down when Anarchist-Syndicalists in at least 12 countries targeting local Iberia offices for occupations, pickets and leafleting.

BELORUSSIA: Protesters ArrestedAnarchists in BeloRussia have been targeted by the State. This is in the aftermath of protests in Minsk comemorating the Chernobyl nuclear disaster were attacked by police and “special forces”. Several have been arrested and all protests in the city banned.

POLAND: Massacre RememberedOn June 4th , the Polish Anarchist Federation organised a demonstration in Warsaw in remembrance of the massacre of pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square in China in 1991. People marched to the Chinese embassy to protest against the regime and other world governments which are co-operating with them. The demonstration included a symbolic tank killing protesting students while diplomats from Poland, USA, Russia and other countries were signing trade deals with the Chinese government.

CANADA: Anarchists RaidedRaids have been carried out on Anarchists in Quebec following a riot in June in which the National assembly (government building) was attacked. Groups targeted have included Food Not Bombs (a radical anti-poverty group) and the collective producing the magazine Demanarchie. One member of Demanarchie group was even arrested for selling the magazine at a popular youth hangout.

Demnanarchie denied responsibility for the riot, stating that it was a spontaneous manifestation of anger provoked in part by the police. The statement by the group concluded: “You can gag the Anarchists, but you won’t be able to silence the cries of the excluded”.

The police also raided a house where members of Food Not Bombs lived, arresting three people on so-called “drug charges”. The State claimed that they were responsible for the riot, even though they had not been in town that night. The judge reused them bail, declaring that “It would make me feel ill to free anarchist philosophers”.

You are requested to send faxes, letters or phone calls to the Quebec Justice Minister, Paul Begin, demanding that the charges against the three, Stepahane Gugy, Chany Pilote and Stephane Roy, be dropped.

The address is PAUL BEGIN. 1200 route de l’Eglise, 9ieme etage, Ste-foy, PQ, Canada G1V 4M1

Tel: 418-643-4210 Fax: 418-646-0027


About Lucien van der Walt

I teach at Rhodes University, the Eastern Cape. I’m South African, born and bred. I am currently also involved in union education and have a background in social movement and left-wing activism, the Workers’ Library and Museum, the Anti-Privatisation Forum, and the National Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU). I’ve presented papers at more than 120 conferences and workshops, published in key journals like 'Capital and Class' and 'Labor History', have co-edited 3 journal specials (these on global labour history, African labour, and unions in the Global South), and written well over 130 other articles, papers and entries. I was Southern Africa editor for the 2009 'International Encyclopaedia of Revolution and Protest' (Blackwell). My focus has been on South Africa, but I have also done research in Zambia and Zimbabwe. I won the 2008 international 'Labor History' thesis prize, and the 2008/2009 Council for the Development of Social Science Research prize for best African dissertation, for my PhD thesis on South African anarchism, syndicalism and black militants. I have several books, including 'Negro e Vermelho: anarquismo, sindicalismo revolucionário e pessoas de cor na África Meridional nas décadas de 1880-1920,' and 'Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1880-1940: the praxis of national liberation, internationalism, and social revolution' (co-edited with Steve Hirsch, Brill, 2010/ 2014).