Occupy Exeter, an experience rich with lessons for the future

On 12 November 2011, protesters in Exeter established a camp on the Cathedral Green in the heart of the city in solidarity with similar movements elsewhere in the UK and around the world. The Exeter experience seems to mirror others and serves as a good example of the current efforts to come to grips with the enormous challenges posed by the current epoch, the difficulties encountered in struggle and the lessons to be drawn for the future.

Democratise capitalism or destroy it?

The slogan ‘democratise capitalism’ appeared on the side of the Tent City University at the St Paul’s occupation, provoking sharp debates which eventually led to the banner being taken down.This outcome shows that the occupations at St Paul’s, UBS and elsewhere have provided a very fruitful space for discussion among all those who are dissatisfied with the present social system and are looking for an alternative.

Reflections on the riots of August 2011 (part 1)

The following article attempts to contribute to the discussions that have followed the recent riots in the UK by looking at the relationship between the riots and the class struggle by placing them in the framework of the nature and evolution of the class struggle. The first part, published here, considers the question in the context of the history of the workers’ movement and the general nature of the class struggle. The second part will look more specifically at the summer riots in the UK.

How to intervene in the Class Struggle?

Here we are publishing an exchange that occurred between the comrades who were engaged in the intervention toward the striking Verizon workers, some of them ICC militants, some of them sympathizers. They worked in close collaboration from the early tossing around of ideas about what to write in the leaflet that was to be distributed, to the actual distribution of the leaflet and several discussions held with the striking workers, and to the post-intervention reflection, which is what is published here. We cannot stress enough the importance of the collective nature of this work. It is important for the sympathizers as they get a ‘hands-on’ experience of actually intervening in the class struggle with a collective framework that is the product of open discussions. It is important for the ICC as it continues to listen to and learn from the insights of the young –and not so young—generation of elements and groups in search of a political direction new and creative ways of approaching different issues.

Anarchists and communists debate the Black Bloc

The capitalist media were, predictably, only too happy to focus on the actions of the ‘violent minority’ who ‘hijacked’ the otherwise peaceful, responsible march organised by the proper representatives of working people, the TUC. The term ‘anarchist’ was used very widely to describe the throwing of paint, smashing of windows, and spraying of graffiti on the walls of banks and posh shops by young people dressed in black and wearing masks.


New forums for proletarian discussion

In the wake of the militant student struggles in the autumn, and before and after the massive TUC demo of 26 March, there are growing signs of an effort by radical minorities to get together and discuss the lessons of the struggle and how to take it forward. Two recent examples: a discussion group in London which came together following the perceived failure of the ‘Network X’ initiative in Manchester, and a recent meeting on fighting the cuts organised by the Anarchist Federation in Whitechapel and attended by comrades from different political tendencies.

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