So, it’s pretty obvious that the most exciting thing happening at the moment is the wave of huge protests that started off in Spain, but now seems to have spread to France and Greece, among other places (not least the UK). But I’m massively under-qualified to discuss that, partly because there’s just so much going on that it’s impossible to take it all in, but also because I don’t speak Spanish. The best piece I’ve read about it so far is this article from the DSG, proving once again that there’s more to them than pretty design. It is worth noting, as with some of the earlier moments in the current global increase in class struggle, how inspiring it is to see massive numbers of people, the vast majority of whom are clearly not anarchists, spontaneously adopting the forms that anarchists would argue for – mass meetings open to everyone involved in the struggle, without any party, union, or other organisation controlling them. Clearly, if we wait for the day that everyone joins AF, SolFed or ALARM and starts reading Kropotkin, we’re going to be waiting a very long time indeed, but these events show that the anarchist goal of masses of people taking action in their own interests without any leaders manipulating them is no mere dream, but something that’s already a reality in many places. Of course, there are still very important limitations to these protests – you only have to look to Wisconsin (or, arguably, the student/youth movement here) to see how a massive inspiring revolt can collapse back to almost nothing very quickly, but it’s worth savouring while it lasts. Adding to the international round-up, things are also kicking off in South Korea and Italy.
So, while Spain gets what’s already being described as a “revolution”, what do we get? Meetings. Lots of meetings. By far the most exciting and important (from the sounds of it, not being a Londoner I wasn’t there) was the first assembly for generalising the strike on the 30th of June, but there was also a North London SolFed meeting on a similar theme, the second ALARM meeting, and Sheffield’s second annual anarchist bookfair.
Other than that, we’ve also seen strike action by Southampton refuse collectors, and two noticeable victories: anti-cuts campaigners have saved an NHS daycare centre in Nottingham, and rank-and-file pressure has forced the GMB leadership to drop their scummy support for workfare schemes. Finally, the cartoonishly evil ATOS Origin are attempting to pull a Ryan Giggs, trying to pressure a critical website out of existence. Apparently they take offence at this charming image:
Much like when the police tried to pull similar shit back in November, it’s worth giving the bastards a short sharp lesson in how the internet works by sharing the offending information and opinions as widely as possible.
So, that’s the news that’s caught my eye recently. Compared to the continent, it’s been a bit of a slow week, but who knows when the next eruption’s going to be?