In June 2012 the CAB is publishing the first issue of its magazine “Socialismo Libertário” (Libertarian Socialism). Below is a summary of the content together with the magazine’s Editorial and links to articles on the Internet. You can also download the magazine (in Portuguese) in PDF format. [Português]
In June 2012 the Coordenação Anarquista Brasileira (CAB) is publishing the first issue of its magazine “Socialismo Libertário” (Libertarian Socialism). Below is a summary of the content together with the magazine’s Editorial and links to articles on the Internet.
- Our concept of Popular Power
- Declaration of Principles of the CAB
- Member organizations of the CAB
For 150 years now, men and women have aspired to the union and the international coordination of the incipient labour movement, in order – by means of federalism and free association – to gather the strength needed to strike at and overthrow capitalism. During this process, anarchists have been present and have constituted a significant part of this militant effort.
We were on the barricades of the Paris Commune in 1871, in the communal experiences of the revolts in Macedonia in 1903, in the struggles and dreams created by the Mexican Revolution of 1911, in the fierce fighting during the Russian Revolution of 1917. We dreamt and then built our libertarian dreams during the Revolution in Manchuria (1929-1931), the Spanish Revolution (1936-1939) and the Cuban Revolution of 1959. Later, we were in the universities and factories during the events of May ’68 and in the struggles against the dictatorships in Latin America. We were part of the First International (1864-1877), the Second International (1889-1916) and the Anarcho-Syndicalist International, 1922. We have been the driving force of trade unions with revolutionary inspiration and of anarchist organizations in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania. We have always maintained, since the emergence of anarchism, our presence in the midst of social struggles over the five continents.
On home soil, since the time of the First Republic [1889-1930] we have been involved in the class-struggle fights in our working-class neighborhoods, in the streets and factories, with the utopia of radical transformation always underlining our actions. 100 years ago in the state of São Paulo, militant workers decided to put an end to the existing elitist form of education, which was restricted to and at the service of the dominant school of thought, by uniting thought and action, sowing the seeds of modern schools. Five years later, the labour movement carried out a general strike in several states, like São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul. These mobilizations – which took place in 1917, 95 years ago – also included the presence of anarchist militants, who helped to set up what we call today the trade-union struggle. Anarchists also created specific spaces for the discussion of various questions, to make agreements, to analyze the current situation they were living in, to produce public statements and plan their actions. This was the case of the anarchist groups formed at the beginning of the century, such as the Aliança Anarquista do Rio de Janeiro (Anarchist Alliance of Rio de Janeiro) in 1918 – which was short-lived, and hard hit by repression – and the libertarian Partido Comunista (Communist Party) in 1919. This repeated drive for organization has never been erased by time. In the context of re-democratization (after the “Estado Novo” of the Vargas Era, 1930-45) and after years of dictatorship, Brazilian anarchists tried to reorganize themselves into the nationwideFederação Anarquista (Anarchist Federation), despite the difficulties. This period (1946 to 1959) saw activity from the União Anarquista de São Paulo (Anarchist Union of São Paulo), the União Anarquista do Rio de Janeiro(Anarchist Union of Rio de Janeiro), the anarchist group Ácratas from Rio Grande do Sul and individuals in other states.
As part of this process, an American Anarchist Conference was held in Montevideo, Uruguay 55 years, with delegates from Brazil, Argentina, the United States, Paraguay, Mexico and the host country, which served as a moment to articulate and strengthen anarchism.
All these initiatives demonstrate the will of anarchists in the past to organize themselves in order to be able to act with greater vigour in the field of the class struggle: if there is struggle, there is resistance; if there is domination, there is organization and the desire for social transformation.
Today, in this piece of land in Latin America called Brazil, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Fórum do Anarquismo Organizado (Forum of Organized Anarchism – FAO), we anarchist organizations that are part of the FAO humbly seek to give continuity to the aspirations, dreams and struggles of thousands of women and men who have lived, contributing their grains of sand to the construction of another society, a socialist and libertarian one. It has been a journey of 10 years that, however modest, we believe to have had some results, despite all the difficulties and challenges that such an intent implies. We have sought to build a nationwide organization, from below, built from the base, solid and mature, in this vast and diverse territory, without ever losing sight of the horizon – our goal of social revolution.
In Brazil, deprived of contact with our “old” fighters, part of our generation has had to rely largely on their own accomplishments. We are the fruit of years of discussion and activities aimed at reorganizing Brazilian anarchism, so that it could focus on the struggles of our time. We are the fruit of initiatives that sought particular forms of class association and organization, experiments and experiences in counterculture, with all its contradictions and limitations. Depending on the region, we are the result of direct contact with the older generations of anarchism, whose efforts can never be forgotten. We are, basically, a generation of young people who started their militant activities in the period between 1980 and 1990 and who thereafter took up the task of bringing anarchism up to date, aiming to make it an instrument for struggle, beginning with specific anarchist organizations operating within organizations with a wider base, contributing to the development of self-organization and the emancipation of the oppressed classes.
The contact that was established in 1994 with the Federación Anarquista Uruguaya (FAU) and consequently with all its history (the FAU has existed continuously since 1956, pausing only when most of its militants were arrested, killed, kidnapped or desaparecidos) was fundamental in this process. Political relations with the FAU were decisive for the choices we made in relation to the model of especifista anarchist organization that we adopt today.
Thanks to these relations, the Federação Anarquista Gaúcha (FAG) from Rio Grande do Sul was founded in November 1995 and since then the common goal has been strengthened by the later founding of other organizations. The project of building a nationwide anarchist organization in Brazil, based on the organizational model of the FAU, was driven by a process that became known as Brazilian Anarchist Construction. The first such attempt was the founding in 1997 of the Organização Socialista Libertária (Libertarian Socialist Organisation – OSL) with branches in Rio Grande do Sul, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Pará, which turned out to be too hasty an initiative.
In 2002, the new attempt, based largely on previous experiences, decided to create a forum, the FAO. It was an initial step which was intended to allow the necessary accumulation of discussions, agreements and practical experience for the foundation of a nationwide anarchist organization. The lesson of the 1990s had been learned: we could not begin to “build a house with the roof”.
Since the founding of FAO, some organizations ceased to exist but others have matured and have been decisive in this collective effort: the Coletivo Anarquista Zumbi dos Palmares (Zumbi dos Palmares Anarchist Collective – CAZP) from Alagoas, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in April; the Federação Anarquista do Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro Anarchist Federation – FARJ), which is already nine years old; and the Organização Anarquista Socialismo Libertário (Libertarian Socialism Anarchist Organisation – OASL) from São Paulo, which is going into its 3rd year of activities.
Other organizations are gradually being added to the process and maintaining proximity to the FAO, creating closer organizational ties: the Coletivo Anarquista Bandeira Negra (Black Flag Anarchist Collective) from Santa Catarina, the Coletivo Anarquista Luta de Classe (Class Struggle Anarchist Collective) from Paraná, the Coletivo Mineiro Popular Anarquista (Anarchist Popular Mineiro Collective) from Minas Gerais, the Organização Resistência Libertária(Libertarian Resistance Organization) from Ceará, the Coletivo Anarquista Núcleo Negro (Black Nucleus Anarchist Collective) from Pernambuco, the Coletivo Libertário Delmirense (Delmirense Libertarian Collective) from Alagoas and other initiatives that are in the process of coming together or developing.
The 10th anniversary of the FAO is special to us, because for more than a year now we have been discussing and noting the need to take one more step forward toward our nationwide project. We intend to do this, however, without letting our feet leave the ground, and in such a way that we can provide closer organizational ties between organizations and deeper commitments and responsibilities. For this, we have decided to go from being a forum to being a coordination: as a result of the increased organizational ties created in these recent years, the FAO will now become the Coordenação Anarquista Brasileira (Brazilian Anarchist Coordination – CAB). Greater efforts will thus be needed, and the responsibility we are taking on for this step is also great. However, the aspirations, dreams and desires that we have to build another society, where we the oppressed classes are masters of our own destinies, is such that we are not intimidated.
That is why, on this 10th anniversary of the FAO, the date of the founding congress of the CAB, we reaffirm our militant commitment to building a strong people, who can throw down the system of capitalist domination through direct struggle, from the grassroots, for the federal construction of our own self-organized, self-managed and direct democratic organizations. Supported by the historical experiences of those who have gone before us, we celebrate the founding of the CAB as an important step in the presence of anarchism in today’s social struggles.
In this first issue of “Socialismo Libertário”, we present a text with our ideas on popular power, a question that we consider to be essential. In coming issues we hope to be able to examine other theoretical, strategic and short-term issues in order to stimulate this nationwide process.
In memory of the thousands of anarchist militants who have made history!
In memory of the oppressed of yesterday, today and always!
Long live the social revolution! Long live anarchy!
Towards a nationwide organization!
Coordenação Anarquista Brasileira
Translation by FdCA-International Relations Office