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At The Cafe

At The Cafe

By Anarchist Communist Group (ACG)
Members of the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG) sit down to discuss current events through an anarchist lens, aiming to demystify anarchist theory and ideas in the process.
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Currently playing episode

TROTRO - Part 7: The Development of Revolutionaries Within the Organisation

At The Cafe

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Public Meeting: The Kronstadt Revolt 1921: The Crushing of the Flower of the Revolution
A meeting to mark the centenary of the Kronstadt rebellion, crushed by the Bolsheviks. What are the lessons to be learned for today? In this meeting we look at the circumstances that led up to the Revolt, and examine the idea of an aborted Third Revolution intended to carry out the true revolutionary aims of the Russian masses. We look at the implications of what happened and how the truth about Kronstadt needs to be revealed to expose the dangers of Leninist vanguardism, which still has a detrimental effect on our struggles today. The sailors at the naval base of Kronstadt were at the forefront of the Russian Revolution of 1917. They formed one of the first soviets in summer of that year. They were among those who stormed the Winter Palace in October. They took an active part in the defence of Petrograd against the White advance. Yet by 1921 they were disillusioned with the Bolshevik government, with War Communism, the lack of free speech, the exactions of the Cheka, the Bolshevik political police, and the brutal grain requisitioning in the countryside. On March 1st, 1921 they held mass meetings of up to 15,000 on various ships and garrisons and demanded immediate new elections to the Soviet by secret ballot; freedom of speech and the press for all left and anarchist parties and groups; freedom of assembly for trade unions and peasant organizations; abolition of Communist political agencies in the Army and Navy; immediate withdrawal of all grain requisitioning squads, and re-establishment of a free market for the peasants.” For this they were denounced as agents of the Whites. In reply, they broadcast the following radio message: “Comrade workers, red soldiers and sailors. We stand for the power of the Soviets and not that of the parties. We are for free representation of all who toil. Comrades, you are being misled. At Kronstadt all power is in the hands of the revolutionary sailors, of red soldiers and of workers. It is not in the hands of White Guards, allegedly headed by a General Kozlovsky, as Moscow Radio tells you.” Trotsky ordered the Red Army to attack. Fierce fighting followed and the revolt was brutally crushed. Victor Serge wrote: “The final assault was unleashed by Tukhachevsky on 17 March… Some of the rebels managed to reach Finland. Others put up a furious resistance, fort to fort and street to street; they stood and were shot crying, “Long live the world revolution! Hundreds of prisoners were taken away to Petrograd and handed to the Cheka; months later they were still being shot in small batches, a senseless and criminal agony. Those defeated sailors belonged body and soul to the Revolution; they had voiced the suffering and the will of the Russian people”.
01:29:25
March 30, 2021
Public Meeting: Building a Revolutionary Movement
13th January 2021 At our last At the Cafe event we looked at the anti-working class, pro-capitalist role of the Labour Party. As a follow up, this meeting will be discussing the alternatives to reformism, parliamentarism and the same old capitalist politics. Currently, the working class is generally de-politicised, demoralised with wider class consciousness at a low. Meanwhile, nationalism and other forms of identity politics, as well as populism, conspiracy theories and the “re-normalisation” of racist attitudes seem to be on the rise. That said, there have been some attempts to break out of this state of affairs, for example, the Black Lives Matter movement over the summer and the recent string of successful strike ballots (despite the UK government’s 50% ballot threshold). Internationally, there have also been examples of class resistance, but we need more. So how do we get from where we are now to where we want to be, with a viable mass working class movement capable of taking on the boss class? This meeting will look at the current balance of class forces and how to build a revolutionary movement, both here in the UK and globally. It will also discuss the idea of “social insertion” as practiced by a number of South American libertarian communist organisations.
02:01:41
March 30, 2021
Public Meeting: Class Not Nation (On Nationalism)
The nation state creates the illusion that the people who live within certain physical borders are united politically, economically, and culturally. However, this is not the case and belief in this illusion has led to many in the working class to support their rulers and bosses more than their fellow workers who are not identified as belonging to this nation. Though understandably groups of people who have been exploited and oppressed under colonialism want to free themselves, the end result is the substitution of another oppressive State, just with different people in charge. Whilst many people understandably identify with the place they live, the way in which nationalism as an ideology has developed makes it very difficult to develop any sense of working class internationalism. Political and social movements have been diverted from fighting the real enemy- the capitalist class- and instead have focused on another state or another group or people as the cause of their situation. This can be seen all over the world – the conflict in Yugoslavia, Hindu/Muslim clashes in India, the horrendous genocide in Rwanda/Burundi and the hatred and violence against immigrants in the UK. Though the nationalism of Scotland and Catalonia may seem less dangerous, it is based on the same premises: that an independent Scotland or Catalonia will be better for all and workers stand side by side with the ruling class. Nationalism is a form of identity politics: the belief that by sharing a particular identity, eg being Scottish, English, Welsh or whatever, that you automatically share certain essential characteristics. People may experience certain forms of exploitation and oppression because of having a particular identity, eg not being able to speak your own language or even genocide. However, this situation is based on the structural and material situation that people live in and has nothing to do with eternal or essentialist characteristics of different groups of people. The only way out of the situation is to see things in terms of class with the enemy being capitalism. This does not mean that identifying yourself as working class is enough – and repeating the same mistakes of other forms of identity politics. Rather it is seeing that there is a particular relationship between capital and labour that leads to exploitation. In the end we want to abolish class as well – ending all exploitative and oppressive relationships such that all that is left is human beings living in a free and equal society. Libertarian Communism 2020 will consider all these issues, aiming to find ways of combatting nationalism and working towards a working class internationalism. Speakers will address the question of nationalism generally and then the next speakers will focus on nationalism in Catalonia (with a speaker from the CNT in Spain) and in Scotland.
02:18:57
March 30, 2021
Public Meeting: Labouring in Vain
4th November 2020 Many people, thirsty for social change, have been lured to the Labour Party during the recent wave of Corbynism. Some of those are now reconsidering their membership of a Party led by Sir Keir Starmer and are looking for alternatives. We in the Anarchist Communist Group argue that the Labour Party has always been a will o’ the wisp,* something that diverts away from real social change. It has never been a socialist party and has always taken the side of capitalism and imperialism, as we explain in our talk. Whether controlled by the right, the centre, or the left, the Labour Party has always been an unsuitable vehicle for real radical change. Neither will the founding of a Labour Party, Mark Two, controlled by socialists, offer a credible alternative. The transformation of this unfair unequal society to one which is just and equal can never come through Parliament. Only broad movements organising in both the workplaces and the neighbourhoods can bring this about. In this talk we look at the record of the Labour Party and explain why it is can never be our ally in the fight for social justice and equality. *The will-o’-the-wisp is a flame-like phosphorescence caused by gases from decaying plants in marshy areas. In olden days, it was personified as “Will with the wisp,” a sprite who carried a fleeting “wisp” of light. Foolish travellers were said to try to follow the light and were then led astray into the marsh. Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
01:15:33
March 30, 2021
COVID-19: Where are we now?
Since the last episode on Covid, the UK has been under two further periods of lockdowns, with rapidly rising case numbers and almost 120,000 deaths. We discuss the current state of things and how the government has reacted, focusing on the impact on work and working conditions.  If you are interested in finding out more about anarchist communism or are interested in the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), please visit: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org with links to all our socials.
39:02
February 16, 2021
COVID-19: The Government's Response
Join us for the first episode of the second season of At the Cafe! Today, we're talking about the UK government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and highlighting some troubling practices they're sneaking in under the radar. If you are interested in finding out more about anarchist communism or are interested in the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), please visit: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org with links to all our socials.
43:03
August 10, 2020
TROTRO - Part 8: The Composition of the Revolutionary Organisation
Part 8 of an 8 part series on our pamphlet on the role of the revolutionary organisation: Read Here If you are interested in finding out more about anarchist communism or are interested in the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), please visit: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org with links to all our socials.
05:03
August 10, 2020
TROTRO - Part 7: The Development of Revolutionaries Within the Organisation
Part 7 of an 8 part series on our pamphlet on the role of the revolutionary organisation: Read Here If you are interested in finding out more about anarchist communism or are interested in the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), please visit: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org with links to all our socials.
00:49
August 10, 2020
TROTRO - Part 6: The Leadership of Ideas
Part 6 of an 8 part series on our pamphlet on the role of the revolutionary organisation: Read Here If you are interested in finding out more about anarchist communism or are interested in the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), please visit: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org with links to all our socials.
01:35
August 10, 2020
TROTRO - Part 5: Tasks of the Organisation
Part 5 of an 8 part series on our pamphlet on the role of the revolutionary organisation: Read Here If you are interested in finding out more about anarchist communism or are interested in the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), please visit: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org with links to all our socials.
05:09
August 10, 2020
TROTRO - Part 4: Class Identification
Part 4 of an 8 part series on our pamphlet on the role of the revolutionary organisation: Read Here If you are interested in finding out more about anarchist communism or are interested in the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), please visit: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org with links to all our socials.
02:15
August 10, 2020
TROTRO - Part 3: Structure
Part 3 of an 8 part series on our pamphlet on the role of the revolutionary organisation: Read Here If you are interested in finding out more about anarchist communism or are interested in the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), please visit: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org with links to all our socials.
06:09
August 10, 2020
TROTRO - Part 2: The Role of the Revolutionary Organisation
Part 2 of an 8 part series on our pamphlet on the role of the revolutionary organisation: Read Here If you are interested in finding out more about anarchist communism or are interested in the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), please visit: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org with links to all our socials.
04:58
August 10, 2020
TROTRO - Part 1: Introduction
Part 1 of an 8 part series on our pamphlet on the role of the revolutionary organisation: Read Here If you are interested in finding out more about anarchist communism or are interested in the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), please visit: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org with links to all our socials.
01:30
August 10, 2020
Why Are We Internationalists?
We discuss why we, as anarchist communists, are internationalists and why nationalism is a tool of capitalism to turn the working class against their interests.  If you are interested in finding out more about anarchist communism or are interested in the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), please visit: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org with links to all our socials.
18:07
August 10, 2020
What's Wrong With Parliament?
We discuss the nature of Parliamentary Politics and Representative Democracy; why we as Anarchists reject them, and what we think should replace them.  If you are interested in finding out more about anarchist communism or are interested in the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), please visit: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org with links to all our socials.
24:50
August 10, 2020
Post Work
Interview with James, from the Anarchist Research Group at Loughborough University, about various anarchists’ ideas around abolishing work as we know it. If you are interested in finding out more about anarchist communism or are interested in the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), please visit: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org with links to all our socials.
47:06
August 10, 2020
Never Mind The Ballots - Part 2
Joint presentation and discussion with the Angry Workers and others about Parliamentary Politics and the 2019 Election Result. If you are interested in finding out more about anarchist communism or are interested in the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), please visit: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org with links to all our socials.
50:57
August 10, 2020
Never Mind The Ballots - Part 1
Joint presentation and discussion with the Angry Workers and others about Parliamentary Politics and the 2019 Election Result.  If you are interested in finding out more about anarchist communism or are interested in the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), please visit: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org with links to all our socials.
22:16
August 10, 2020
Is It Going To Happen?
An exploration of how we are going to change society. If you are interested in finding out more about anarchist communism or are interested in the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), please visit: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org with links to all our socials.
12:18
August 10, 2020
Historical Examples of Anarchism
A look at the history of working class movements that have tried to build anarchist communist societies. If you are interested in finding out more about anarchist communism or are interested in the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), please visit: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org with links to all our socials.
08:45
August 10, 2020
War
We discuss war as an inherent and necessary part of the capitalist system. If you are interested in finding out more about anarchist communism or are interested in the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), please visit: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org with links to all our socials.
13:44
August 10, 2020
Crime
We discuss how an anarchist communist society would deal with crime without the state. If you are interested in finding out more about anarchist communism or are interested in the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), please visit: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org with links to all our socials.
16:44
August 10, 2020
Why Work?
We discuss and analyse the nature of work under capitalist society and why people would work in an anarchist society society. If you are interested in finding out more about anarchist communism or are interested in the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), please visit: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org with links to all our socials.
14:52
August 10, 2020
What Is Anarchist Communism?
We discuss what Anarchist Communism is. What are its ideas and how does it differ, in its theory and its practice, from other revolutionary movements. If you are interested in finding out more about anarchist communism or are interested in the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), please visit: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org with links to all our socials.
07:30
August 10, 2020
The Anarchist Communist Group (ACG): Who Are We?
Preamble to the founding statement of the Anarchist Communist Group.  If you are interested in finding out more about anarchist communism or are interested in the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), please visit: https://www.anarchistcommunism.org with links to all our socials.
01:01
August 10, 2020