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We, the anarchists

[Editorial from Cause Commune no 4, translation thanks to FdCA-International Relations Office.]

There exists an anormous gap between anarchism as it really is and the lies that are associated with it by media, governments and bosses. Anarchists are accused of being violent, bloodthirsty, murderers, bombers and terrorists. It is true that for a certain period, some anarchists believed they could change society through individual acts of terror. But those days are gone, it is ancient history. It was the turn of the 20th century - more than a hundred years ago. Now it is high time that journalists got their scoop... anarchism is a collection of theoreties and practices whose aim is the social emancipation of the working class BY the working class (1).

They treat us as a bunch of young hooligans born from the ranks of recent counter-culture, when in fact we are part of a movement with historical roots, drawing on ideas both socialist and libertarian. We played our part in the Mexican Revolution (1910), the Russian Revolution (1917), the Spanish Civil War (1936), May 1968 in France and elsewhere. In recent years, in Quebec we were on the frontlines of the last big students' strike (1996), that gathered thousands of people demanding free education and other things. Against capitalist globalization we have been the principle radical force, inspiring a whole range of people to believe that "another world is possible".

Housing, work, the environment, immigration, anti-racism, male-female equality... the list of the struggles we are involved in seems to get longer and longer as the ills of society worsen. Sometimes the struggles are victorious, but they remain isolated, often unknown. And that is something that makes the controlling class happy. They are only too happy not to spread the idea that anarchists are able to change things for the better.

We, the anarchists, extol equality, freedom, justice, human dignity. But we do not think that all this will fall from the sky. A social revolution will be necessary. Utopians? Certainly. But also realists. We know that we won't carry this revolution alone. Fortunately, our history and the experiences of our recent struggles show us that the exploited and the oppressed also have an interest in seeing this happen.

Civilizations are mortal. Capitalism is, too. So, we are not condemned to remain chained to its dogmas and its diktats. There is a life after the neo-liberalism, and it deserves to be lived.

(1) Here the term working class is used in its widest and most meaningful sense, that is to say it groups workers, the unemployed, the young, students, etc.

Article from "Cause Commune" No.4, NEFAC's French-language journal.

Translation by FdCA-International Relations Office