Welcome Visitor:

SydSol action in Darlinghurst

Date and Time: 
Sat, 04/07/2015 - 11:00am to 1:00pm

Sydney Solidarity Network is taking on a new fight in support of Yoon, a worker who was exploited by a supermarket in Darlinghurst. Yoon worked three 10 hour 'training shifts' packing containers of fruit salad in November, 2014 but never got paid. The work was falsely presented as training which would lead to a job. She has asked Nick, the boss, multiple times to pay her the award wages she is legally entitled to, only to be fobbed off each time. How many other workers have done Nick's 'training shifts' in the hope of a job at the end but ended up with no job and no pay? Adding insult to injury, Nick threatened to call the police on Yoon if she came back again to ask for her pay. He also threatened her with legal action. SydSol is demanding Nick pay Yoon the award wages she is legally entitled to.

SydSol invites supporters to join in a leafleting action in support of Yoon.

Meet at 11am, Saturday 4th July, at Taylor Square on Oxford St. We will then proceed to the supermarket nearby.

We also encourage you to share the event on social media using the share button here, and use the hashtag #SydneySolidarity.

COUNTER-RALLY: No to Racism, No to Fascism, No to Islamophobia

Date and Time: 
Sun, 19/07/2015 - 11:00am to 2:00pm

"The racist organisation ‘Reclaim Australia’ is holding another rally on Sunday July 19 in Sydney. We are calling for all those who oppose racism to mobilise in a peaceful protest to oppose their bigotry, xenophobia and Islamophobia.

"The Government's scaremongering about terrorism is feeding the systemic demonisation of Muslims. This, along with years of racist policies towards refugees and asylum seekers from the major parties provides fertile soil for Reclaim Australia and associated entities to grow.

"We must not let fascists and extreme nationalists spout their racist messages without anti-racists putting forward our views.

"We are calling on people to gather at Martin Place in the space where Reclaim Australia plans to hold their protest, one hour before their event begins, to contest their rally with a large, loud counter-demonstration. We will deliver the strongest possible message to them that their racism is not welcome.

"Please put aside the date, start telling your friends, and let’s make this the biggest anti-racist rally it can possibly be!"


Recommended books - four short book reviews

Anarchist Seeds Beneath the Snow: Left-libertarian Thought and British writers from William Morris to Colin Ward, David Goodway.

This book so excites me that I'm reviewing it before finishing reading it. Goodway gave a talk/book launch when in Sydney a couple of years ago, which was great, but nothing like delving into each of the fascinating essays that comprise this masterful work. Not that I agree with all his points and positions, but it provides a richness of thought and analysis of a huge range of authors, from many I know little or nothing about to the famous, like William Morris, E P Thompson, Herbert Read, Oscar Wilde and George Orwell. It's not just that he brings out the anarchist connections in their thoughts and writing, but about their interactions and debates, and the part many played as activists. Stimulating.

The Accumulation of Freedom: Writings On Anarchist Economics, (Editors) Deric Shannon, Anthony J. Nocella 11, & John Asimakopoulos.

As the title suggests, this is another of the several recent works that aim to develop a modern approach to 'anarchist economics', a topic that I've been getting into lately. Overall, this collection of essays helps to confirm my contention that there is no such thing as 'marxist economics', however some of the authors still mistake Marx and Engles' analysis of capitalism for a statement on economics. This is my major critique, but doesn't apply to all the authors represented here. On the very positive side, there is a broad inclusion of many aspects of what an understanding of economics should include, and topics that anarchists have been writing about and putting into practice for generations. Economics is often a scarey topic for some, but this treatment isn't.

Kontrrazvedka: The Story of the Makhnovist Intelligence Service, V. Azarov.

Black Cat Press has published several books from new research on the Russian Revolution. We know of the betrayals of the Bolsheviks and the heroics of the Makhnovists, but often the details are missing, this slim book fills in some very interesting and critical information. The lessons learned from these studies describes how hard it is to maintain an insurrection, and the variety of resources needed: 'insurrection' as distinct from 'revolution'. One interesting anecdote was about Maria Nikiforova, who led an anarchist detachment much like Makhno. At one point they pulled guns on each other - relax, it was sorted out, she got the resources needed and headed off to blow up some Whites and free the Makhnovist General Staff that Trotsky had arrested, unfortunately already shot when she got there.

Cartography of Revolutionary Anarchism, Michael Schmidt.

A brief but important book that seeks to explore the wide range of anarchist movements across the globe - hence the 'cartography' in the title. Schmidt follows the approach of a previous publication 'Black Flame' in that he covers only anarchism from 1868 onwards, continuing with the thesis that anarchism began then. Yes, I have serious trouble with that notion, but not with the breadth of information in this book. Many popular movements are covered, albeit briefly, and several of them I'd not heard of, didn't know of their extent, or had only read a whisper of information about them, eg, the ZZZ of Poland, the 1928 East Asian Anarchist Federation and the strange Manchurian Revolution of 1929-31 - among many others. This is more than just a catalogue of events, it also holds interesting analysis and shows the international linkages that led to millions of people aligning with anarchist organisations.



Proposed Anarchist Federation Constitution - Draft by Jura Books, May 2015

Attached here is a draft of the proposed constitution for the Anarchist Federation Australia, drafted and approved by the Jura Collective in May 2015, based on earlier versions prepared by Melbourne Anarchist Club with input from other anarchist groups.



To give some background and context, here is a summary of the current federation process, to the best of our knowledge. It’s based on a few different accounts, leading up to May 2015.

In 2007, some members of the Mutiny Collective called for expressions of interest in holding a conference to discuss the idea of an anarchist federation in Australia and/or NZ. In response to this initiative, the Melbourne Anarchist Club (MAC) organised a conference held during Easter 2008. About 60 people from across Australia attended and a broad range of views were expressed from opposition to enthusiasm. There were no delegates as such and each participant attended as an individual. While there were some differences in attitude to federation there was a significant amount of common ground. Following on from this, MAC decided in March 2013 to hold the Towards Federation Anarchist Conference in June 2013. It was proposed to invite groups (as opposed to individuals, although individuals were encouraged to attend as observers). A proposed constitution was presented for discussion and about 30 people attended including delegates from MAC, Libertarian Workers for a Self-managed Society (LWSS), and Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group (MACG). There were also observers from Anarchist Affinity and Jura. In January 2014, a follow up conference was held at Jura at which delegates from MAC, MACG and Jura attended (and an observer from a Canberra anarchist group). The draft constitution was discussed and suggestions for amending it were made. People from Jura agreed to do another re-draft of the proposed constitution.

In May 2015, Jura completed a re-draft of the constitution, which is now being circulated. Jura and MAC aim to have a meeting re the federation in June 2015. There will also be an open workshop about federation at the Sydney Anarchist Bookfair, on Saturday 13th June.

Over the last few years, there has also been a fair bit of online discussion about the federation, for example on Libcom and Facebook.

As we understand it, Jura, MAC and MACG are keen to form a federation this year, on the basis of the constitution we’ve been discussing and drafting and redrafting over the last few years. We would welcome other anarchist groups joining this federation if they agree with this constitution. However, we do not want to go back to stage one of the drafting process. (Although of course the constitution will be open to revision by the federation in the future.) We also intend for the federation to develop a ‘Statement of Shared Positions’ and a program of activities/projects, in the near future, which will give it more form and substance.


Groups that have been contacted about the federation at some point since March 2013:

AFA Perth - A meeting of of anarchists in Perth was held on 12 September 2014 and a decision was made to form a group with a view to federating in accordance with the proposed constitution (Jan 2014 version).

Anarchist Affinity (Melbourne) - Declined to send a delegate but did send an observer to the 2013 conference, a statement was made stating that while Anarchist Affinity supported the idea in principle, they were not ready to proceed and indicated that they would take no further part at this stage.

BAG (Brisbane) - Agreed to proceed on the basis of the proposed constitution in April 2013. Subsequently re-affirmed in January 2014.

Black Flag (Western Sydney) - Contacted in person by Jura people in 2015. Current position on the federation unknown.

Black Rose (Sydney) - Was initially contacted through what came to be discovered a defunct email account. Was contacted again in person by Jura people in 2014. Held a meeting to discuss the federation. Current position on the federation unknown.

Black Swan (Adelaide) - Has been sent the proposed constitution but no follow-up to date. Current position on the federation unknown.

Brisbane Solidarity Network - Has been sent the proposed constitution but no follow-up to date. Current position on the federation unknown.

Byron Bay Anarchists - Requested a copy of proposed constitution in 2014 but no response since. MAC unable to independently confirm the existence of the group.

Grupo de Melbourne - This is a group of the remaining Spanish exiles. A member came to MAC to express disappointment that they had not been invited to participate. Subsequently sent the January 2014 version of the proposed constitution by MAC. Discussed the proposed constitution over a weekend in May 2014 to develop a submission. Currently awaiting an English translation.

Jura (Sydney) - Had an observer participate in the June 2013 conference and hosted the January 2014 conference at which the proposed constitution was discussed. Discussed, amended and agreed on the May 2015 draft of the constitution. Jura is hosting a meeting of the federation (possibly the inaugral conference?) in June 2015.

Libertarian Workers for a Self-managed Society (Melbourne) - LWSS sent a submission and a delegate to June 2013 conference. Some of the LWSS submission was incorporated into the current proposed constitution. Since then, there has been no follow-up contact with LWSS. Current position on the federation unknown.

Melbourne Anarchist Club - Initiators of the current project to found an anarchist federation. Is in agreement with the January 2014 version of the proposed constitution on the proviso that there are at least three groups from at least two cities/locations and that the proposed federation be provisional for a period of 12 months to be subsequently confirmed or not. MAC is currently considering the May 2015 version of the proposed constitution.

Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group - Sent two delegates to June 2013 Conference and January 2014 conference. The MACG have expressed support and a desire to have the principles of 'the platform' incorporated into the constitution. Has participated in two joint meetings with the MAC to discuss the proposed constitution and have proposed some additions and modifications which were incorporated into the proposed constitution that was presented to the January 2014 conference.