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The Forgotten History of Cuban Anarchism

From It Could Happen Here

Part 1 ft. Andrew

Andrew talk with Gare about the history of anarchist labor organizing in Cuba.

Part 2 ft. Andrew

Andrew and Gare finish their discussion of Cuban anarchism in the 20th century.

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REBELLION Number 19

Via Dark Nights

PDF: REBELION NO. 19

BY WAY OF AN EDITORIAL

Once again we find ourselves around the campfire, in another rebellion. Time passes, but reality makes us feel that we are as if we were stopped in time; governments are still here and there, as are capitalism, religions, patriarchal culture, extractivism and individual and social authority. Sometimes it’s like running on a treadmill, we run, we sweat, we have the sensation of moving forward, but we don’t do it. That does not take away our desire and will to keep fighting, to get up and keep trying to break the treadmill, without giving up. Yes, like those stubborn and maladjusted anarchists, from all sides and all times. Comrades of years or new ones that join with contributions to this rebellion, that never tried to serve as a guru, or guide, or “example of perfect life” of anyone, without impositions perfect life” of anyone, without impositions or demands. Rather, it is only to expose our ideas (always debatable), reflections, experiences, feelings and individual or collective sensations; it is a humble contribution to the great flame, which gives warmth and strength to all of us comrades around the world, and that, at this very moment, many of them are prisoners, fugitives, under surveillance, many are persecuted; but, even so, they continue conspiring, propagating and agitating the social revolution against all authority, in all corners of the planet.

In this region another show of “the Democratic elections 2023”, another change of label but not of content. Now a new character leads this town: “Miky Vanilla” (Milei). A super fascist as president. Again, the sad meme, became reality. The ultra right wing, which hypocritically, put itself as a name: “Partido La Libertad Avanza”. And what they want the least, is the freedom of anyone. They even call themselves: Anarcho-capitalists. Another unreal contradiction, like the name of their Party. Anarchy and capitalism are polar opposites. Like calling themselves anarcho-government or anarcho-authoritarian.

And as expected, the scourge of “every man for himself” never stopped. The slope of social inequality became faster and faster, while the increase of everything is all-encompassing. Misery among the people is in free fall. The lethargy in the social rebellion, generates agonies, also micro and macro adaptations, frustration, disappointment, depression, impotence, anger, wild stories and all against all. And the ship, always straight to the iceberg. The fascist and murderer of Santiago Maldonado, Patricia Bullrich returns to power as Minister of Justice. With a tattoo of Bukele. Ready to be the director of the: Mega Penal-Capital. The “war against terrorism”, again legalized by the terrorists of the State. The mafias of power, repressing the “mafias” for not passing them the “prote”. “They didn’t pay their bribe on time again, boys, a couple of lazy bastards are going to have to fall” says Commissioner Bulrich. Laws and reforms. Congresses and “march on the sidewalk”. Unions and police parties and jailers, respecting the “Anti picket protocol”. And eating, renting, traveling, living for the people is slowly fading away. Meanwhile the facho vindicates the massacre in Gaza from Israel. He whores the Pope and then embraces him. Opposition and officialdom. The “quarrels” between the powerful never interested us… we know that they only distract and stretch the show. But the reality can be seen and felt in the street, the advance of weariness. Also the doubt, the fear, the uncertainty, the resignation. And the conformation with “it is what it is”, continues to reign. And like any power that imposes itself, capitalism never forgives. It will continue to wreak avoidable havoc.

The passage of 2023 was so fleeting, amidst inflation, looting, evictions, repression, and to top it all off: the electoral show. In 2024 it seems that the People are starting to wake up little by little, because of everything that happened, like a very bad hangover. In which they went through “las paso”, the presidential elections, the increases that sometimes were little by little or like a cudgel, at other times. This kept them “dizzy” but “awake” when it was time to vote, with faith in the best meme. And now, they deny their hectic night. This is the current feeling of voters and non-voters alike. They wake up little by little with each increase that personally touches their pockets, seeing that their incomes are farther and farther away from their expenses. And the virtual and social war between those who say: “I told you so” and “we have to give time to the new government”, are the daily battles. Meanwhile capitalism and its scythe of social inequality advance rapidly. And we as involuntary spectators, in the middle of the social “menjunje”, having to endure another day of governments, capitalism, religions and cultural authority. But with the same desire intact, to destroy all this empire of authority.

The massacre in Gaza does not rest day or night. Neither does that of Russia against Ukraine. The business continues and so do the dead. The memory of Claudia Lopez on the 25th anniversary of her cold-blooded murder by the carabineros of Chile. And the tenth anniversary of the murder of Cosme and Lukinio, at the hands of a facho. Their fires will always rekindle our barricades, for those of us who do not forget that we are always accompanied by our fallen. The best tribute is always to fight.

Violence “causes and effects” of the tireless comrade: Amanecer Fiorito. It describes what, unfortunately, continues to be reproduced today. The CEAMCE and the struggle of the neighbors of Catan. And all the consequences caused by the contamination of power and its ambition, without ever measuring the inseparable damage they cause in the past, present and future of the inhabitants of the whole world. Extractivism, which never stops. The daily individual and social adaptation. The capital fever and its multiple mutations to cling to continue with social inequality. The stories of Gaetano Bresci, showing us that there is no such thing as an immortal and untouchable tyrant. All expositions from the mind, the heart and the entrails of each comrade. The Esquelas and Esquelas of the subversive and unsuitable comrades of the existing prison system, with their causes and current situation. The permanent struggle of the comrades imprisoned all over the world. The release of Gabriel Pombo da Silva, who is finally on the street. The trial and “exemplary punishment” carried out by the terrorists of power against comrades Francisco and Monica. The struggle for their freedom will not stop. The death of Alfredo María Bonnano and his agitation against all authority until his last breath. Words always of strength and encouragement, not to give up in the face of the imprisoning world, from comrade Marcelo Villarroel. Freedom for Alfredo Cospito and so many other comrades who resist and fight to the end against this system that wants to erase, annul, disappear or bury us so that we do not continue fighting for the world without authority, which we know is possible. May the social revolution against all authority inside and outside of each one of us, not stop. It is a pleasure to continue sharing a new REBELION with all of you, and we hope that wherever you are, you will never give up! We send you health and strength to every unruly and untamed heart!

We leave you with the excerpt of a note, from one of those many stubborn and misfit to authority: Rafael Barrett and “El Oro” (Gold).

“Gold, money… suppress all the gold in the world: has our true wealth diminished by an atom? Imagine the immense and agitated labyrinth of universal traffic: sweating slaves, stubborn caravans, the slow ox and the light horse, sledges and carts, sailing ships, trains, steamers that drag and distribute bread and luxury, life and dreams under all climates through all impossibilities… Why would the absence of gold bring the enormous organism to a halt? Suppress gold: won’t our muscles remain intact, won’t the gas continue to push the wheel? Remove the gold: what obstacle has been introduced into human motion? None: Everything could go on without a shudder.”

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Mauricio Morales on the map of the international anarchist offensive

"There are still backpacks left like the one Punky Mauri had."

Via Dark Nights

From Informativo Anarquista, a counter-information project, we write these words 15 years after the death in action of comrade Mauricio Morales, Punki Mauri.

*

Death is an event that inevitably takes us away from the body of the person who has passed away. But as quickly as the body withers, the common imagination turns to the dawn and unfolds the culminating fact of death towards hundreds, if not thousands, of memories, testimonies and actions that forge in the skin a vitality capable of driving a heart that beats in all directions.

Memory is not an exercise in unanimity or homogeneous plenitude. It does not always have the same points of reference or the same explanations. What it is, however, is collective, at the same time as it integrates shades and particularities that respond to their own places, to solitary or loose voices, which converge and meet on certain occasions between one and the other. In this sense, anarchic memory has been a point of connection, a motive for encounter that gives way to the search for and rapprochement of affinities with the decisions and paths that a companion built in life.

Mauricio Morales reflects, in part, what we want to say; how the heart of a dead comrade can be pumped with insistence. That, despite the pain and sadness, the persecutions and imprisonments that this brought, networks were built, complicities were strengthened and his anarchic memory continues to this day. We agree with the now extinct counter-information project Liberación Total (2011), that ‘death is an unbeatable obstacle, but in contrast, forgetting and passivity are walls that we know how to break down. Not only in relation to the comrade Mauri but to every insurrectionary spirit that has to live through the hardest circumstances of the paths we choose in life’.

In the exercise of their memory, the counter-information pages crossed communicational frontiers and provided an effective means of dissemination through which comrades from all over the world learned of Mauri’s death. The publication in them of words written by squatted social centres, friends, publishers, prisoners, action groups and Mauri himself, made possible the translation into different languages and the externalisation of an offensive memory to an international affinity.

Consulting a legend of black internationalism in the book Mapping the Fire (2012), one reads, no more and no less, that the pages of counter-information ‘are the messengers of our decision to get off the train of commitments and start a global journey of anarchy without a return ticket’.

The propagation of Mauricio Morales’ ideas, thoughts and contradictions was and is precisely the sign of a passage without a return ticket, especially because the comrade declared that the ideas coming out of our mouths were not enough, but the ones prevailing in active hands. Thus, the Italian counter-informative project Culmine understands that ‘(…) the affinity that we feel with Mauri is not only limited to the nihilistic aesthetics of his thoughts, no! We know that we have in front of us a comrade in action, one who has always confronted power to its ultimate consequences’.

Contagious of this spirit, in 2009, in a vindication of the explosive attack against the Chilean consulate in Greece, Conspiracy of Cells of Fire wrote that there are ‘people we have never met, but we know that we always look at things from the same perspective’. And a year later, also in reference to the Mauri, Marco Camenisch* expressed from a prison in Switzerland that ‘every death of ours, every failure of ours becomes a victory in the “strategic field” of the offensive’.

As a striking element of the black memory, we deny the rise of martyrs, heroes or untouchable figures, connecting with our dead comrades as a living whole that navigates agitated waters.

15 years after the attempt to attack the nest of jailers; the wall paintings, books, activities, counter-information projects, burning tyres, bottles flying in the wind, whistling bullets, incendiary or explosive planning, continue to carry the name of Punki Mauri through the streets, across languages, kilometres and generations.

Nothing is over, everything continuous.

A death in action is an eternal call to fight.

Together we can continue to keepo ensuring that anarchy lives on

Informativo Anarquista (Anarquist news)

May 2024

Source: Informativo Anarquista

DN Note

*Marco Cameneisch is a Swiss eco anarchist in the late 1970s, who was involved in local opposition to the nuclear power industry. In Switzerland, as in other countries, the movement against nuclear power plants utilized tactics of direct action: cutting down electrical pylons, sabotage against power stations, and actions against leaders of the nuclear industry.

On Christmas eve of 1979, Camenisch with René Moser was accused sabotaging a power station belonging to NOK (Nordostschweizer Kraftwerke) at Bad Ragaz, St. Gallen with explosives, destroying two transformers and a power pole. The pair were arrested for the sabotage in January 1980 and after spending a year free on bail, the court of Canton in Chur and Graubünden sentenced Camenisch to 10 years in prison.

In December 1981, he escaped from Regensdorf prison near Zürich, along with 5 other prisoners. During the melée a prison guard was shot and killed, and another was seriously injured. Camenisch claimed he hadn’t been part of the group which committed the shootings. After the escape he spent 10 years in hiding.

In 1989, Swiss federal police and media claimed he was responsible for the killing of Swiss border police officer Kurt Moser at Brusio.

On November 5, 1991, Camenisch was stopped by Carabinieri on Cinquale di Montignoso road, along with fellow anarchist Giancarlo Sergianpietri. Camenisch produced a handgun and opened fire, wounding one of the soldiers. In the ensuing shootout, he was wounded in one leg and arrested. Two guns and six rudimentary bombs were found at his place. He was taken to Pisa hospital, where he remained for six months, and later at San Vittore prison infirmary in Milan. The Italian Court of Massa Carrara sentenced him to 12 years for assault and sabotage of electrical pylons. He served 9 of those years while in solitary confinement in a maximum-security prison.

In April 2002, Camenisch was extradited to Switzerland and transferred to a prison in Pfäffikon near Zürich. In January 2003, after a hunger strike against the conditions of imprisonment he was suffering, he was transferred to a prison in Chur with better conditions. In 2002 the Swiss government transferred him back to Pfäffikon. In July 2004 he was sentenced to seventeen years in prison for the killing of Kurt Moser.

In November 2006 the Federal Supreme Court nullified this sentence on the basis that the sum of the two prison terms would exceed the maximum of twenty years set by Swiss law. On 13 March the sentence was therefore reduced to eight years. Camenisch has never denounced the actions attrinuted to him or anarchism during his time in prison, and he remained constant communication with the anarchist circles outside. He was freed from prison on 10 March 2017, after 26 years.

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Mexico: Letter from Anarchist Prisoner Jorge “Yorch” Esquivel

From It's Going Down

An update from anarchist prisoner Jorge “Yorch” Esquivel, being held in Reclusorio Oriente in Mexico City, on his next court date, Wednesday, May 29, at which the judge will issue his verdict.

May 26, 2024

Hello!

Compas, as you already know, the hearing was postponed yet again until May 29 at 10am.

Well, this time the hearing couldn’t happen as the prosecuting attorney had diarrhea and wanted to go home. You can imagine the indignation this caused me, but at nearly 18 months of being locked up, we continue resisting.

I would like it if you could come on May 29 to pressure the court or to put pressure on from your respective trenches.

I hope to be with you on that side of the wall unless the court comes up with another charade.

Thank you to the crew who came out last weekend to the event at Okupa Che. To the fujitiva crew for the vegetables they sent me. To all those that have attended the anti-carceral activities at La Clandestina, I thank you for the cards, the support, and remind you that my handicrafts are there for those who want to support me by buying them. Thank you very much, compas. I send a hug and I hope to see you soon.

Freedom for political prisoners!

Sincerely,

El Yorch

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There’s No Liberty Under Fascism and No Alternative In Trump

boooo

From It's Going Down

On Saturday, May 25th, to jeers and boos, Donald Trump addressed the Libertarian Party conference, a testament to the far-Right turn that the third largest political party in the United States has made following the takeover by the Alt-Right aligned Mises Caucus.

Ironically, Trump spoke under a huge banner featuring a faux circled anarchist (A) and Libertarian black and gold colors reading, “Become Ungovernable,” a slogan that become popular during protests against Trump’s policies during his presidency.

Trump is far from a Libertarian – he openly proclaims that he will be a dictator on “day one,” runs ads online that refer to a “United Reich,” and has dinner with leading neo-Nazis. While Libertarians cheer tax cuts for the rich, the removal of environmental and worker protections, and calls made by Trump associates such as the fascistic Steve Bannon to attack the “administrative state,” meaning dismantling popular safety net programs such as food stamps, Medicaid, and Social Security – which Trump has endorsed – Trump also increased the national debt and government spending; funneling billions into the Pentagon and the war economy. Trump courts the support of fascist groups, weaponized Homeland Security against his political enemies, worked to accelerate the failed “War on Drugs,” attacked reproductive freedom, targets and attacks LGBTQ+ people, wants to carry out a militarized mass roundup of tens of millions of working-class people, has voted to increase government surveillance, and has built alliances with dictators and authoritarians across the globe. Trump also played a key role in a coup attempt on January 6th that attempted to install him as an unelected leader.

As even the Libertarian aligned Cato Institute, an uber-capitalist think-tank wrote:

…[T]he list of Trump policies and postures that libertarians oppose is long and dangerous…In truth, Trump’s appearance this week says as much about the Libertarian Party as it does about him.

…[T]oday’s [Libertarian] party leadership has been taken over by a faction that places it well outside the bounds of libertarianism altogether and appears comfortable with right-wing authoritarianism. Some tweets issued from state libertarian parties and other libertarian operators can only be described as shockingly racist or antisemitic — the Libertarian Party of Michigan, for instance, posted a cartoon portraying Jews as puppet masters of the Democratic and Republican parties — and would be more welcome on the alt-right than among true libertarians.

In Trump, the Alt-Right trolls at the head of the Mises Caucus, which controls the Libertarian Party, find a kindred spirit. To them, the goal is not to chip away at authoritarianism, but instead to use the State to attack advances made by popular working-class movements from below. Far from pushing back against government control over our lives, they instead want to increase its targeting of those it deems to be its enemies.

The organized Right is a mass movement for inequality and thus needs to brand itself as an alternative to the system it exists to uphold and defend. Its fitting then that Libertarians have literally stolen the word “libertarian” from anarchists, who for decades used it to advocate a cooperative, anti-capitalist, and egalitarian society organized from the bottom up. Starting in the 1950s however, far-Right capitalists began using the term to advocate for a society where the State had been completely privatized – with all aspects of social life being controlled by private businesses – from courts, to cops, prisons, roads, and schools.

As Murray Rothbard, one of the leading architects of both so-called “anarcho”-capitalism and the Libertarian Party stated, “One gratifying aspect of our rise to some prominence is that, for the first time in my memory, we, ‘our side,’ had captured a crucial word from the enemy. ‘Libertarians’ had long been simply a polite word for left-wing anarchists, that is for anti-private property anarchists…But now we had taken it over.”

But Rothbard was clear that this vision of privatized warlordism had nothing to do with actual anarchism. He later wrote, “We must therefore conclude that we are not anarchists, and that those who call us anarchists are not on firm etymological ground, and are being completely unhistorical.”

Like the modern-day Mises Caucus, Rothbard went on to call for alliances with neo-Nazis like David Duke and for the State to attack protesters, the poor, and social movements. He famously called to the State to direct its violence against the broader population, stating:

[U]nleash the cops to clear the streets of bums and vagrants. Where will they go? Who cares? Hopefully, they will disappear, that is, move from the ranks of the petted and cosseted bum class to the ranks of the productive members of society.

Such rhetoric echos that of Trump today. Rothbard would go on to help build the modern Libertarian Party and worked to push Ron Paul into the spotlight, whose presidential campaign in 2012 helped give birth to the modern day far-Right. For those Libertarians angry that Trump addressed their convention, enjoy your chickens coming home to roost.

Both Trump and the Libertarian Party try and brand themselves as an alternative to the status-quo, in the hopes of attracting dissatisfied voters angry at the growing cost of living, the current war, and the immiseration of everyday life for working-class people.

In reality, both Trump and the Libertarian Party want to make things better for the ruling class and corporations – not those who toil under them. Moreover, like Rothbard, they want to remove any pretense of government oversight and accountability – instead unleashing the State’s full potential for violence against anything that challenges the capitalist system.

In wake of the pandemic, corporations are making record profits – by price gouging working-class people as rent has skyrocketed and wages have remained stagnant. But Trump and the Libertarian Party simply wants to accelerate this reality – not attack it. But unlike Biden who cheerleaders how “well” the economy is doing, the far-Right instead offers a laundry list of manufactured enemies who they attempt to blame for our collective misery: immigrants, drag queens, “woke,” ANTIFA – anything but the system of exploitation itself.

Trump and the Libertarian Party have no solutions to offer, only a worse version of the current system. The real alternative to the present crisis lies in our ability to actually build power outside of the State and the capitalist economy.

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