If there is something which should be at the core of anarchist politics and organising, its internationalism. We’re opposed to global capitalism and narrow chauvinism and this goes all the way back to the founding of the Anarchist International at St. Imier and further. Following the global pangs brought about by the ruling classes neo-liberal offensive with the banking crisis, we have seen new collectives and battlefronts formed in struggle not only in the Middle East, but further afield in South America. Which hold important prospects for the struggle for free communism.
Areas either new to anarchism, or where libertarian ideas have possibly thawed for one factor or another have come to fruition. When the Anarchist Federation heard that a collective had formed in Central American and the Caribbean (FACC) we jumped at the opportunity to build up relations and form contact with them. Especially since our international – the IAF is branching out into new territories beyond the narrow confines of Europe.
Cuba, which is something of an epicentre for this new group, holds a number of prestigious positions in particular; it is a place where anarchism has had a illustrious history; it is nominally still an ‘existing socialist society’ and contains all the contradictions and difficulties one can imagine in terms of organising there and disorientating leftists, furthermore it is going to be subject to rapid change with the opening up of markets to America, under the auspices of thawing US-Cuba relations for tourism.
What is interesting to note is that the comrades not only understand the transition, but have managed to traverse the historical contradictions imposed by their “socialist” society to develop very sharp political insights in otherwise unenviable circumstances as well develop their own regional support network.
In terms of the logistics, the AF organised for a five point national tour pretty much the length and breadth of the UK (with an additional date added later due to popularity) with the tour beginning with the London Anarchist Bookfair. Many of the dates we are glad to convey were packed out with interesting questions and discussions being had. The London bookfair meeting in particular proved so popular people were being turned away because of the room’s capacity!
In terms of the opportunity it offered to the comrades from the FACC, it was an immense opportunity. The FACC in general, operating in a very political restrictive environment, and are very dependent on international solidarity. While at the same time one of the key focuses of the Cuban contingent has been to try and secure a base of operations in a popular neighbourhood in Havana – which we are wishful and supportive of. Please visit and support here.
Sometimes our International does tremendous work secretly squirreling away supporting various initiatives with resources and solidarity, this was a nice opportunity to showcase something of that work’s fruition. Although the venture was nominally challenging in terms of resources for our modest organisation, the tour allowed the FACC comrade to build-up extensive and wider contacts, as well as bring internationalism to the fore by documenting their comrades’ insightful and inspiring experience of organising in their region whether it was LGBT work, responding to regressive labour reforms, discussing the legacy of racism, supporting their comrades’ response to jingoism/chauvism or organising a libertarian themed library and book-fair.
A video and recordings of the tour are available here.
Our heartfelt thanks should be expressed for all individuals and collectives that made this venture possible.