Justice, Dignity, Resistance: Interview with OCAP

Ontario (Canada): An Interview with John from Ontario OCAP_logoCoalition Against Poverty (OCAP)

Published in “Wildcat” n°1

OCAP is a grassroots fighting organisation known for their contributions to the development of ‘Solidarity Network’ type actions and ‘Direct Action Casework’. Below is an interview I did with John a few years back.

Continue reading

Posted in Housing & Landlords | Leave a comment

Self Defence Group notes

s-l300Lesson plans for Self Defence Group.

Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

A few lines from the Tenants Union debate

homelessOur society is not a debating chamber, but a power struggle between different groups and classes with competing and opposing interests. The landlords are raising the rent because they have the power to do so pure and simple.

Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Anarchist Work Groups and 1-to-3 Organising

“We cannot wait to act until popular political viewpoints recognize revolutionary anti-capitalism as a valid and legitimate political position. If the political landscape is going to be altered radically, it is going to be altered by the self-directed activity of the working class. As militants, our role is to actively build an organization, a movement, a concept, that encourages and allows this class activity to flourish.”

“…the class-collaborationist unions – are falling increasingly out of favour. Working people are searching for alternatives now seemingly more than ever.”

Anarchist Work Groups and 1-to-3 Organising: phoca_thumb_l_demovorbereitung


The essence of anarcho-syndicalism is shop-floor & neighbourhood level organising; the setting up of work groups that lay the basis for taking action to defend and extend our interests, and countering the drudgery and maddening pace of the global-work machine. These groups aim to be at once economic (based on shared material conditions) and political (based on shared political ideas). The setting up of work-groups is foundational in reigniting unionism as a pledge of solidarity among fellow-workers and in shaping broader resistance at the sites of power where we experience exploitation and hierarchy most directly. It’s important at this stage to note that regardless of whether people identify formally with anarcho-syndicalism or not, what matters is putting basic anarcho-syndicalist methods into practice, ie; our organisations, whether fluid, temporary or permanent, should ideally be controlled by the base, ultra democratic through the use of delegates and open assemblies regardless of official trade-union membership, direct-action orientated and be against intermediaries or organising methods which remove power from our hands.

The following will outline one example (my own) of the nuts and bolts of this kind of organising in practice, set in the workplace. This will be accompanied by anarcho-syndicalist lessons/writings/ideas put forward by the Waiters Union (WU), Brisbane Solidarity Network (BSN), Solidarity Federation (SolFed) and the Industrial Workers of the World Recomposition Group (IWW) which I found helpful. Continue reading

Posted in Anarchism & Organising, Solidarity Unionism | Leave a comment

Songs of the people

CNT Anthem:zapatistas-20-anos
Children of the people
Chains oppress you
And this injustice
cannot continue
If your existence is a world of troubles & grief
It is better to sooner die than live in slavery
The bourgeoisie, so selifish
who thus despise humanity
Shall be awept away by anarchists
to the strident shout of freedom
Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Family Friendly? Not in My Name! [Black Bike Article]

Family Friendly? Not in My Name!

“Family friendly” is a phrase that gets thrown around in activist circles with little to no thought, way too often. “Family friendly” has little to do with any actual real life family, and more to do with  trying to make an event more conservative (liberal), non violent*, safe. It has little meaning beyond its use as code to signify that at this event some behaviours are acceptable/expected/enforced (e.g. listening politely to the speakers; following the directions of the marshals), and some behaviours are unacceptable (e.g. throwing wheelie bins at police; heckling boring speakers). “Family friendly” is code meant to appeal to middle australia – mum, dad, 2.3 kids. Apparently this is our target audience!?

Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Lynch your Landlord: An Interview with SeaSol

housing I did this interview a while back with a Seattle Solidarity Network organiser. What are Solidarity Networks? The ‘Solidarity network’ is one way of organising which has the potential for dual power.

In a nutshell, they are networks which span across different communities and different workplaces (regardless of unions or not), in order to support and connect struggles and build collective action.

The principles behind solidarity networks rely on the balance of class forces, and recognise that sometimes we have to fight defensively because as a class we are weak, and this can’t be compensated for by small group actions ‘attacking’ back in whatever way (e.g. networks don’t firebomb dodgy real estates, they organise tenants to collectively assert their needs, even if that’s only defensively enforcing basic standards, because this builds the capacity, confidence and culture from which more ambitious demands can be made.)

Networks try to bring anyone affected by an issue together to collectively discuss the issue. The key is the self-activity of all of those concerned, to widen the fight, and encourage a state of permanent dialogue, planting the seeds for ongoing, relevant forms of organising which empower all of those affected; not just network members, but those who aren’t members of the network and who may never want to be.

Meaningful action, for us is whatever increases the confidence, the autonomy, the initiative, the participation, the solidarity, the equalitarian tendencies and the self-activity of the people and whatever assists in society’s demystification. Sterile and harmful action is whatever reinforces the passivity of people – our apathy, our cynicism, our differentiation through hierarchy, our alienation, our dependence on others to do things for us and the degree to which we can therefore be manipulated by others – even by those allegedly acting on our behalf.

Continue reading

Posted in Housing & Landlords, Solidarity Unionism | Leave a comment

Direct Action Gets the Goods: An Interview with the Starbucks Worker’s Union (IWW)

swuBaristas are putting up pressure on Starbucks Corporation to come to terms with 200 unionized workers in Chile who have been on strike for more than two weeks. Employees who belong to the IWW Starbucks Workers Union kicked off a “global week of action” on Monday in solidarity with their Chilean colleagues by picketing in front of a Starbucks in New York City. The following is a short interview with one IWW organiser (IU-660).
Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Taking Back Land: An Interview with Rob Robinson

They Say Gentrify, We Say Occupy!
Rob is a solid organiser from Picture the Homeless and Take Back The Land with a wealth of knowledge around homeless peoples movements.
Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Why you should start a Solidarity Network

housingAn Introduction to Solidarity Networks Adapted from SeaSol’s  ‘Why you should start a solidarity network’

When I first became interested in radical politics, there weren’t many groups for me to get involved with. All of the collectives I joined seemed to form, fall apart, and reformalways the same people reshuffling into new groups, disbanding, and starting over again. If they took part in any discernible action at all, it was normally because some other group had organised it.
Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Build solidarity unionism

“The tendency to obey comes from systematic socialization of society that obedience constitutes correct conduct.”

Look through the mainstream polyp_cartoon_Rat_Racenewspapers this month and you’ll see hundreds of articles accusing workers and the unemployed of being thugs, greedy, lazy, unlawful, unreasonable and unfair. Despite all the cuts to jobs, services, the arts and health (all the while funding bullshit, like the Big Brother show), the bosses press seem to think that they are the ones who are being thrown onto the scrapheap.
Continue reading

Posted in Solidarity Unionism | Leave a comment

June 10: Remember Myall Creek


A visitor to the Australian colonies in the 19th century remarked that the right to Australia was a sore subject among the settlers and that they always sought to satisfy their conscience in a number of ways. As an example here are a number of comments from papers at the time which sought to rationalise occupation and murder; they found their answer in the safety of ‘terra nullius’ – that diabolical lie that reduced a healthy, ancient people to the level of ‘flora and fauna’, not worthy of life.
Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

The Origins of May Day

May 1st, International Workers’ Day, commemorates the historic struggle of working people throughout the world. The holiday began in the 1880s, linked to the battle for the eight-hour day and the Haymarket Affair, in which eight anarchists were framed and sentenced to death in connection to uprisings against the repression of active strikers.

“Never be deceived that the rich will allow you to vote away their wealth [and privilege].”
— Lucy Parsons, anarcho-syndicalist, founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World and widow to Haymarket martyr Albert Parsons

Continue reading

Posted in Anarchism & Organising, General | Leave a comment

Class & Unions Position Paper discussion

class & class struggle (Introduction)
combat unionism & anarcho-syndicalism  (A look at trade Unions)

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Review: How to Overthrow the Illuminati

tumblr_n2kv6ert4c1qz9ddwo1_500Anyone who’s spent enough time on YouTube or Wikipedia (especially after a bit of choof) will eventually end up on one of the thousands of occasionally well-edited conspiracy theory rants. What I’ve been encountering seemingly more and more frequently (on the streets, at work – even with the taxi driver) are a plethora of ideas that add only to further mystify the way society works and disempower us through grand-hegemonic narratives that can never be proven or disproven.
Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Notes from Work as Play (Peter Gray)

modern_life_work_home_play_sleep1Our word work has two meanings. It can mean any unpleasant activity; or it can mean any productive or useful activity, regardless of its pleasantness or unpleasantness. The first of these meanings is the opposite of play; the second is not. We use the same word for the two meanings, I suppose, because in our culture’s history the two meanings have so often overlapped. Productive activity conducted by slaves, servants, and hired hands with no sense of choice about what they are doing indeed is work in both senses of the term.
To keep the two concepts distinct, so we can think about them separately, let’s use the term toil for the first meaning (unpleasant activity) and work for the second. With this terminology, toil is the opposite of play, but work is not. Work can be toil, or it can be play, or it can lie anywhere on a continuum between the two.
Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

How Non-Violence Protects the State

Crazy Harry
A dialogue around pacifism and non-violence by Peter Gelderloos. Now available in a smaller printable pamphlet

How Non-Violence Protects the State


Posted in General | Leave a comment

Centrelink parody form

Click to Download

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Direct Action

Nearly everybody is out of place in the present scheme of things. While some of us struggle to find work, others of us struggle to find time away from work. The majority of so many people’s lives are taken up with keeping afloat and making a wage in work that is often dangerous, stressful, boring, exhausting, pointless and frustrating. The little ‘leisure time’ we get costs us too, both in monetary terms and mentally – we are either escaping work, delaying work, or killing time until we have to go back to work.
Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Don’t mourn, organise! BSN Organiser 101 draft

1173802_209552119208736_1311925837_n[Click to Download]

Although the contents of this booklet are written from an anarcho-syndicalist perspective, ultimately we don’t care if you identify formally as an anarchist,
anarcho-syndicalist, whatever–we are more interested in what you do and how you do it.

As a practice and over-arching worldview anarchism is fundamentally about sticking up for each other – against the whims of bosses, landlords and bureaucrats, against systemic and psychological systems of social control, against racism, sexism and other forces that hold illegitimate power over our lives. At the same time anarchist theory looks at how we can organise ourselves and our struggles in a way that reflects the kinds of society we want to see, and the nuts and bolts of doing this in such a way so that our movements can’t be demobilised or sold out from above, or used as trampolines for political careerists, NGO’s and those who seek to become managers over and above the people.

None of this theorising matters if we don’t try to implement our ideas beyond the realm of traditional Activist politics & propaganda and into the areas of our lives where we experience exploitation most directly: in our workplaces and neighbourhoods. Our situation in Queensland is one where strike action is basically illegal. Trade-Unions for the most part act as representative service organisations and NGO’s do – with all the rotten fruits of bureaucracy, paid officials and hierarchy. Most of the workforce have never been in or participated in union culture and there are not many opportunities to learn from struggle. In terms of organising, this sounds bleak; there is so much to do. When we look at significant fighting organisations like the CNT, the FORA, the IWW, the FAU etc, we have to look at how they developed and the organising that led up to them. The COBAS in Italy for example grew out of the workplace base assembly movement.

Against the social order that demeans our human dignity, we need more and better organisers, and we need the confidence and support to make attempts where in the past we have laid down and been walked over. At the same time we need to make attempts at forming the organisations and infrastructurenecessary to build a healthy culture of working class hospitality, resistance and sustenance. In that vein, the following looks at the nuts & bolts of how we can be better organisers , and represents what we hope will be an ongoing tradition of sharing the practical wisdom that we glean from struggle – the school of social change.

Until all are free.
Collective denial, subversion and sabotage our choice;
Self-organisation, solidarity and social-revolution our way.
Every workplace a battlefield; Every worker a partisan.
—Brisbane Solidarity Network, 2014

Posted in General | Leave a comment

The Right to Rights

An article by C.L Finigno in 1913 edition of the IWW Lumberjack Union paper.

“If there is a word in the English language dayglothat has been misconstrued, misconceived and misunderstood, the word “rights”” has suffered more than any other one. We have often heard of the workers’ rights, we have seen that word in the magazines, newspaper and law books, we have heard the praise and rights of labour from the mouth of ever scoundrel in the land and ever pimp of society. But we have never seen these rights spoke of, enforced by anybody and those that were enforced had to be done by the workers themselves.
All the songs of the poets, all the twaddle of the sophists, all the politician’s panacea, and all the dupes’ illusions hasn’t altered one iota of the misery of the working class.
Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Whither the Trade Union: Interview with a laid off meat-worker


~Worker Inquiry~

The following is an interview with my mate Tony, who over the years I have known him has come to be more and more critical of the trade union, but from a perspective of militant worker organising and solidarity. Since Tony would rant a lot about this anyway, I asked if he’d be ok doing an interview so others could get a glimpse of what goes on in the meat industry (for a project at the time, The Grind). The following was transcribed from a recorded interview in Kangaroo Point back in late 2012.

Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

On Anarchist organising and failure.

people_with_house2This article will take a look at the following idea: A loss through Anarchist organising is worth more in terms of experience gained than winning through methods that take power out of your hands.

Continue reading

Posted in Anarchism & Organising, General | Leave a comment

Brisbane Squatter’s Handbook

Produced by Brisbane Solidarity Network
Everything you need to know about squatting in QLD.
Over 1000 distributed!
Download the booklet here or continue reading below
Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Anarchism & Anarcho-Syndicalism

An Introduction to Anarchismdescartes-black-bloc

Download pdf here:

Click to Download:
Introduction to Anarchism

or continue reading:

Continue reading

Posted in Anarchism & Organising | Leave a comment

Don’t Forget Those on the Inside: Thinking about PRISON


We acknowledge our existence on land occupied by genocidal force and see prison abolition as one of the many starting points towards decolonisation and liberation.

Dedicated to the prisoners I’ve worked and struggled alongside with over the past five years, many of whom have suffered irreversible life-shattering trauma on the inside, some of whom have been killed in custody either by others or from their own hands.

And to Barry, who is still inside. His crimes: inter-generational trauma, fetal alcohol syndrome, poverty, loss of family and culture, homelessness, grief and trauma from his experiences in prison and the self-medicating alcoholism once he was released (and the revolving door which put him back inside).

Continue reading

Posted in Anarchism & Organising, Police & Prison Abolition | Leave a comment

Anatomy of an Inspection

nospaceAnatomy of an inspection.

2pm, I wake up groggy after another gruelling night shift. The landlord’s about to show up for another inspection, the ritual where I pretend to be something I’m not – the type of person my boss would like – clean, simple and efficient. The ritual is designed to remind me that the place where I live isn’t mine, that it isn’t in fact my home, it’s not a place where I can express myself freely or feel secure in. This is the type of landlord that makes you feel like you should just lean palms against the wall with your legs spread. Continue reading

Posted in Anarchism & Organising | Leave a comment

BSN Logo Collection

bsn Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

My 2 weeks with the Waiters Union and the Christian anarchists

beguineAs some of readers who enjoy left-trainspotting may know, Brisbane has a reputation for being a hot-bed for Christian anarchists. The mention of this term evokes a variety of responses, outrage, curiosity etc. Regardless of what you think, there’s so many of them in Brisbane that you’re bound to come across one eventually if you’re involved in any sort of campaign work. What follows are some of my notes from the Waiters Union 2 week community course back in 2010 and I aim to shine a bit of light on the Christi-anarchist milieu. The Waiters Union camp happens twice a year at the House of Freedom (this is also where BSN meet and has its library) and other locations across West End. Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Mulberry Hands


A short story for children I helped to transcribe by elder Frances Chapman Crowe.

This is a story about an Aboriginal girl, called Noleen New, and her cousin Burgo Luck. She was a young pretty girl with skinny legs and her cousin, who has beautiful red-hair and cute freckles on his face. They both live on the same property belonging to Noleen’s Daddy. Noleen New and her cousin Burgo Luck thought eating juicy mulberries was delicious, but they couldn’t hide the mulberry juice on their hands. It is only through the help of Noleen’s wise Mummy, who helped them to overcome their shyness, that they learnt an important lesson.

Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

10 points of reflection

1. Bizaare is acceptable; abuse is not.

2. Your ability to engage doesn’t have to remain a constant

3. Never do on your own what you can do together with others.

4. Play the role that is helpful (Wear the hat)

5. Never overcommit and underdeliver – Always undercommit and overdeliver. (If you do overcommit and underdeliver, make sure to do the opposite next time around.)

6. Alleviation is in opposition to liberation; Charity is in opposition to

7. Skills are to be utilised on tap not on top.

8. Understanding comes from standing under, not standing over.

9. Hold your agenda lightly.

10. A victory won at the expense of anarchist organising is a loss. Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment