150th Anniversary of the First International

Robert Graham's Anarchism Weblog

International anniversary

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of the International Workingmen’s Association (IWMA), better known as the First International. In the following excerpt from my forthcoming book, ‘We Do Not Fear Anarchy – We Invoke it’: The First International and the Origins of the Anarchist Movement, I discuss the founding congress of the First International in London, England on September 28, 1864. I dealt with the anarchist background to the founding of the International in a previous post. I included the original statutes of the First International in Volume One of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas, together with several other selections that provide contemporaneous anarchist perspectives on the structure and purpose of the International, which I summarize in the Afterword to Volume Three of my Anarchism anthology, The Anarchist Current.”
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The Founding of the First International

At the beginning of September 1864…

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Piss-poor Pegida

Some chancers from the social media wing of the far-right decided they would attempt to cash-in on the recent Pegida bubble. Here’s what happened on their first National rally in the UK.

Words and pictures by our man in the field, DM.

Pegida UK got off to a bad start by arranging their first demo in Newcastle when the Toon were at home. The cops had their excuse to ban the march – unless Pegida held it at 9.30 in the morning – so it was demoted to a static rally at 11.00 on Saturday 28th February.

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Early doors for the cops

By 9.30 the police presence in Newcastle was already significant as preparations were made to ‘facilitate’ the far-right gathering.

After realising the planned BNP march from Monument to the rally site wasn’t going to happen, I walked down to the Bigg Market to find – with just 20 minutes to go – only a dozen supporters and about 40 media.

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Those things will kill you, Paul.

A tiny scaffold platform, a tiny PA system and a tiny, tatty Winston Churchill banner were all Pegida organisers had brought with them and the bargain basement theme continued as the morning progressed.

The crowd quickly grew to about 350 by the time the rally was under way, even though the speakers did their best to put everyone off with some truly awful, amateurish, waffling bluster. Either the right have no skilled speakers or Pegida weren’t able to afford them because if Paul Weston is the best on your platform, you are in trouble.

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Who are ya?

This random stranger started off by giving the audience of Nazis, fascists and racists the shocking news that Pegida are not political and that Lefties were welcome to join. Even when the “as long as they hate Islam too” qualifier was added, the looks of stunned bemusement were noticeable as were the sighs of “what the fuck?”

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not political

Liberty GB leader and lone member Paul Weston was well received by those who had no idea who he was, less so by those who did. His usual “Islam is evil” 10 minute bore-athon actually turned out to be the best of a terrible bunch.

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Weston-Night-Mare

Next, the weirdly-wigged guest from Germany had the crowd scratching their heads wondering what she was saying in her broken English. Having watched the video, I’m still non the wiser though I did spot the right-wing classic “who are the real Nazis?”

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“who are the real nazis? oh yeah, it’s us”

The speeches were punctuated by blasts of ‘patriotic’ songs for which a lyric sheet was supplied but it was more Last Chance Saloon than Last Night of the Proms.

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Chewy here was complaining about the non-existent leftie intruders

The old soldier’s speech was marred first by the crappy PA breaking and again when a series of unfortunate events lead to handbags being drawn.

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Ignored in favour of a bit drunken pagga

Three idiots had gone to the police lines at the anti-pegida demo up the road and got a Golden Dawn flag out. They were escorted back over to the Pegida side of the street to be reunited with their fash pals but when the media began to scrum around the GD flag it all went a bit wrong.

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Golden Shower

Some EDL members mistakenly thought the scrum was some Lefties coming to confront them.

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An incredulous journalist asks the fash if he understands just what the flag means.

The beer and coke kicked-in and they charged up the bank to be met by a line of cops. Everyone I asked said the cops had let some Lefties through to goad them. Wrong! Who knows what the Golden Dawn idiots thought about this mistaken identity balls-up but I thought it was hilarious.

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EDL handbags

Some further pushing and shoving with the cops eventually turned into a few EDL having a ding-dong with each other leading to one or two being escorted out by police officers.

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More EDL handbags

Things wound down from there as people drifted away through cold and boredom.

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Simon Biggs and the NF. Bloke on the left was later kicked off the demo by EDL leader Alan Spence

Some from the Pegida lot went to shout at the 2,000 anti-racist protesters from behind two lines of police and there were a few giving it the big-un but no serious attempt was made to attack.

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Takes all-sorts

Small groups of EDL tried to follow the antis as they marched back up to Gallowgate but they were easily turned back by a handful of cops. Later, some had a little look around the Irish Centre where some antis were having a post-demo pint but again, they didn’t fancy it.

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Not so keen after all eh son?

All things considered, this was a piss-poor event organised by incompetent, inexperienced people looking to cash-in on the media-hyped German version of Pegida. The usual suspects turned up, were heavily outnumbered and then embarrassed themselves by fighting each other.

DM 2015.

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Green could be the new red in Redcar

UNEMPLOYED IN TYNE & WEAR

The leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council has hinted that he could stand as a Green Party candidate after being deselected by the Labour party.

Councillor George Dunning, who expects to be removed as leader on Thursday, was one of ten Labour members who last week tore up their party card outside the office of the party’s would-be Redcar MP, Anna Turley.

The veteran Labour councillor was not selected, alongside his deputy Sheelagh Clarke and several members of his cabinet committee, by the party to fight in May’s council election.

Now he said he could stand as an Independent councillor but says several of the members have been approached by the Green Party.

Mr Dunning said:

“I expect to be thrown out as council leader as the Lib Dems move a motion of no confidence in me for a second time, the last time was September 2013. I expect…

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All Fired Up

Central Sunderland Fire Station is under  threat of closure after the Tyne and Wear Fire Authority voted to close it along with two other stations in the North East. Obviously this decision has been incredibly unpopular resulting in well supported campaigns and petitions to stop the closures.

Today about two hundred people marched from the Fire Station to a rally in Sunderland town centre to protest the closure.

The speakers included the local Labour MP and leader of the Labour Council yet it was Sunderland Labour Councillors on the Tyne and Wear Fire Authority who voted through the closures! This was pointed out by a local Green Party campaigner which resulted in some incredibly patronising  comments from the Council Leader.

Apparently, when Labour councillors are doing Fire Authority business they cease to be Labour Councillors and therefore it wasn’t Labour councillors who voted through the decision to close the Fire Station. If this duality of existence is achieved through quantum physics or some kind of transubstantiation that even the Pope would find hard to believe was not made clear.

Luckily the FBU had a good speaker who wasn’t just there to drum up votes for Labour. He spoke clearly about how the decisions to close fire stations literally costs lives, people lose their homes, businesses close down leading to job losses.

The FBU are one of the few remaining Unions prepared to stand up and fight but they need to be careful not to be lead by the donkeys in the TUC and Labour Party.

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Dover r-Soles

Quick post as this cheered up an otherwise dull Sunday…

A motley bunch of fascists and racists from that rubbish program that was on channel four the other night held a demo in Dover – something to do with foreigners stealing all the pasta out of their leader’s kitchen cupboard or something – and it ended with utter embarrassment for the shelf-dusting scumbags.

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The seagull-spotters managed to lose their banner, air-horns, their minibus was confiscated by the coppers and a couple of their bony heads made acquaintance with the pavement.

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The SEA group were joined by the National Front, Scottish EDL and National Alliance. They all showed their street-ruling credetials by walking hand in hand with their police escort.

Of course the sad case Nazis – who so often describe anti-fascists as weak students – quickly posted up their excuse that they were heavily outnumbered. looks about 50-50 to me, you big cry-babies!

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So, an utter embarrassment for the would-be fuhrers of the new far-right.

Well done to the young anti-fascists from the south and best of luck for the future.

Here’s two reports from Rabble website and EDL News website.

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No surrender..to the book club?

I have to say, I don’t normally enjoy the point-and-laugh stereotyping of EDL members as illiterate, brain-dead thickheads but they really aren’t helping themselves lately.
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A book club were meeting to discuss Russell Brand’s ‘Revolution’ in a bar in Newcastle when a large group of EDL supporters disrupted the meeting with chants about Muslims and the Taliban.
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Had the Newcastle book club scene become an illicit den of Islamic Fundamentalism? Was it all a cover for a Jihadist training camp?

No, the EDL thought Russell Brand was having a meeting. In Newcastle. In a small pub. In the smaller still upstairs room.
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Honestly, you couldn’t make this stuff up. How am I supposed to tut-tut at those who lazily dismiss the EDL as thickoes when they pull stupid shit like this?

Here’s the original report from the Newcastle Evening Chronicle… http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/watch-edl-gatecrash-russell-brand-8433737

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New Year Election Blues

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The new year brings the first round of election bullshit as the general election media circus starts revving up. I don’t know about you but I’m sick of it already.

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Labour supporters are constantly warning that we can’t take 5 more years of Tory rule. What do Labour offer? Austerity but with a nice balloon? Cuts totalling £billions but with a sad face? Saying ‘sorry about that’ as they fuck us over?

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People have already stated whining about how not voting makes you a terrible person, responsible for the nation’s ills. They say you have to vote…but only for the parties *they* approve of.

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In Scotland all the Yes! voters will be queuing up to laugh in the faces of labour losers in Scotland.
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Good luck with the SNP but I don’t think it will be much better if at all. It will be funny to watch this idiot squirm though…
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I’ll be posting more about this charade as it continues so thats it for now.

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