Anarchism

1 August 2018Feature

Ruth Kinna explains the background to this year's Anarchist Studies Network conference

Itō Noe (1895 – 1923) was a Japanese anarchist, author, editor and feminist. She was beaten to death by military police and thrown into an abandoned well along with her companion, anarchist Ōsugi Sakae, and his six-year-old nephew, Munekazu Tachibana. Photo: via Wikimedia Commons

There have been four Anarchist Studies Network conferences, one every two years since 2010. The theme for this year's fifth conference, 'decolonise', was chosen for two reasons: to confront and tackle the…

1 April 2017Review

PM Press, 2016; 128pp; £11.99

Donald Rooum has been drawing cartoons for PN since (at least) 1962, and PM’s new selection of his work – many of them featuring his most famous creation, the anarchist moggie Wildcat – takes on a wide variety of familiar targets: religion, the military, police surveillance, the monarchy and capitalism. But we’re also treated to Rooum’s delightfully offbeat takes on Rumplestiltskin and the Garden of Eden (‘When you’re not blackmailing, you quite turn me on’, the miller’s daughter…

1 August 2016Comment

A reader rages

As usual, we rang people up to talk anonymously about a topic. This time, something came up for one person that needed more space.

Can I caveat this right before I agree to do this? I feel I am poor on my feet. I don’t do social media partly because I can’t get my head round how people do that. I have a bit of anxiety around this.

The other context is, depending on your topic, really good for your piece or really bad.

I have just been through the most enraging experience…

1 August 2015Comment

The letters pages in Peace News have long been a forum for debate on pacifist ideas: the August 1955 issues were no exception. Sid Parker, individualist anarchist, contributed to and edited political publications over many decades; pacifist Denis Barritt lived in Northern Ireland - including during “the troubles” - opposing all armies, ‘legal’ or ‘illegal’.

Anarchist position

There is one paragraph [of a Peace Pledge Union document in a previous PN] with which…

1 June 2015Feature

An earthquake diary by a Nepali anarchist


30 April: ‘Came across these 4 young punks in charge of clearing out debris in their
own neighborhood today. This is an all ages show everyone.’ photo: Yuva Ekta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nepal was hit by a long-predicted earthquake (7.8 on the Richter scale) on 25 April. Over 8,000 people were killed. There were over 100 aftershocks, including a 7.3 quake on 12 May.…

21 July 2014Review

‘If we want to weaken the state we must strengthen society.’ Colin Ward reminds me of the fundamental principles that drive my actions, and gives me hope with which I can go forward and get involved in dealing with activist topics. His revitalising principles, encapsulated in this short quote, remind us that thinking about social change need not be an armchair activity, or a bottomless slog, but can be an essential part of ultimately getting stuff done.
Ward wrote about all…

9 June 2014Review

The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB Open daily until 19 August; £9.50, senior 60+ £7.50, student/unemployed £5, under-18 free; www.bl.uk

In 1978, in a satricial swipe at the burger giant, British sci-fi comic 2000 AD had its fascist anti-hero Judge Dredd visit the nightmarish ‘MacDonald City’ – a dystopia within a dystopia. However, they soon became nervous about libel lawsuits, and the axe finally fell – albeit from a different quarter – when a later episode pitted Dredd against a crazy version of the Jolly Green Giant. Threats of legal action from food giant General Mills forced the comic into publishing a half-…

12 March 2014Blog entry

Published since 1886 the print of edition of Freedom is to be discontinued.

The Freedom Collective, publishers of Freedom, the anarchist periodical founded in 1886, decided at a meeting on 3 March 2014 to discontinue printing and concentrate on online publication.  After the second printed edition of 2014, the intention is to publish a special edition for the anarchist bookfair in October, and after that to print only occasional free sheets.

Peace News and Freedom have much in common. Donald Rooum, who has contributed cartoons to Peace News since 1962, has…

1 November 2013Review

More Like People Press, 2013; 263pp; £15 – available from Housmans bookshop or online at www.morelikepeople.org

Like the author of this book, I’ve had the experience of working for a large NGO (non-governmental organisation) and, in the process, becoming de-skilled, de-motivated, uncreative and disempowered.

After a couple of years of struggling with hierarchy and unimaginative bureaucracy, I left to do more activism, study for an art degree, and work part-time for a small start-up charity where my skills have been appreciated and nurtured. So naturally I was keen to crack open my copy of…

12 March 2013Review

AK Press, 2009; 250pp; £13.

Yes, this review is a bit late, for a book published in 2009, but this is a book we really didn’t want you to miss out on.

If you’re interested in Israel, then finding out that the foundation stones of the new society, the co-operatives known as kibbutzim, were explicitly as well as implicitly inspired by anarchism is pretty extraordinary.

If you’re interested in anarchism, then learning how these super-egalitarian…

1 December 2012Feature

A view from the grassroots of the Syrian revolution.

As an anarchist it wasn't easy for me to be among Jihadists, but for some reason, it wasn't the same treating them as a doctor.

From the first moment I entered the hospital where I was working I was clear that I would treat anyone who needed my help, be they civilians, or fighters from any group, religion or sect. I was determined that no one would be mistreated inside that hospital, even if they were from Assad's army.

It is true that not all the free army militants are…

26 September 2012Review

Maia Ramnath, Decolonizing Anarchism: An Anti-authoritarian History of India’s Liberation Struggle, AK Press, 2011; 180pp; £12.Steven Hirsch and Lucien van der Walt (eds), Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1870-1940: The Praxis of National Liberation, Internationalism, and Social Revolution, Brill Academic Publishers, 2010; 432pp; €109

In recent years, English-language histories of anarchism have been paying more attention to anarchist thinkers and activists outside the West. These two books are part of that trend.

I don't really think many PN readers are going to fork out for Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1870-1940; it's a very expensive academic hardback, but it is a valuable contribution.

The authors document influential anarchist movements in Argentina…

25 September 2012Feature

A secular tool for sustainability.

Every time I tell someone about 'anarchist sabbath', they're intrigued, curious, sometimes envious – the conversations start exploring lifestyle, family, personal decisions, community, spirituality, emotional support, political strategy.

This is rather gratifying. So what is it?

Most Sundays, my friend, whom let's call 'Jack', and I meet up in my kitchen and pour ourselves a cup of tea. We take our tea down to the garden pond and sit next to each other without talking for…

1 October 2011Comment

Life-long activist and "guerilla anarchist" who helped expose plans for a paramilitary coup and stood trial for "incitement to disaffect" British troops in Northern Ireland.

John Hyatt, a member of the Peace News staff collective 1973-75 gave us the slogan “Don't Vote – it only encourages them”.

I first met him as a young man representing the Youth Section of the Peace Pledge Union at the WRI Council meeting in Vienna in August 1968.

Nearby Czechoslovakia was experiencing what turned out to be the last days of the Prague Spring. On the last day of the council meeting a WRI delegation, which I think included John, travelled to Bratislava at the…

1 May 2011Review

Five Leaves Publications paperback; £5; available from Housmans and Freedom bookshops or post-free from Five Leaves, PO Box 8786, Nottingham NG1 9AW

This is a marvellous book about a marvellous man and it’s full of marvels. Remembering Colin Ward comprises transcripts of his friends’ tributes at his funeral – which various PN stalwarts attended – and his memorial meeting in Conway Hall four months later.

In fact, it amounts to a biography in just 50 pages and it makes you wonder at the hundreds of pages spent on lesser beings. To quote from its introductory note: “Colin Ward was an anarchist, a journalist, and an author of books…