South Wales Anarchists is not really a group, organisation or club of any sort, it is an umbrella under which lots of anarchists from South Wales come together to keep dry. We are a collective of people who want to pursue political demonstrations through direct action.
Since it is a collective there is no membership, no leaders, just like-minded individuals who act as a whole. People within the collective have a variety of political ideologies but all believe one thing. The present system is crap! If we want to make the world a better place then we are all responsible, and must do our bit.
There is a proud history of anarchism in South Wales, but this little network (for want of a better word) has grown out of two groupings that have been around since 2002 (ish).
Many of those involved have been active for a good many years but around 2002 a few like-minded people got together to set up informal networks to co-ordinate things. Cardiff Anarchist Network (CAN) and Gwent Anarchists have been involved in kicking against the system in various ways, including (but not limited to):
· Mobilisations against the G8 (wherever it meets),
· Protests against the European Union Summits,
· Reclaim the Streets events
· Setting up a squatted social centre
· Food not bombs stalls
· Direct action against the bad eggs, such as arms fairs and companies like Coca Cola
· Camps against environmental destruction, such as the Blackwood Bypass and the current fight against the LNG pipeline that is going to rip its way across Wales.
· Critical mass bike rides
· Film nights
And much more
CAN meet every other Monday in Cardiff and currently have four priorities for meetings; Opposition to ID cards, Anti-militarism, fighting against climate change and mobilising against the G8. Other things come up at meetings, but these four are given priority. Minutes of meetings can be found on the website.
As a group Cardiff Anarchist Network have subscribed to the Hallmarks of the Peoples Global Action (PGA) network, which are :-
- A very clear rejection of capitalism, imperialism and feudalism; all trade agreements, institutions and governments that promote destructive globalisation;
- We reject all forms and systems of domination and discrimination including, but not limited to, patriarchy, racism and religious fundamentalism of all creeds. We embrace the full dignity of all human beings.
- A confrontational attitude, since we do not think that lobbying can have a major impact in such biased and undemocratic organisations, in which transnational capital is the only real policy-maker;
- A call to direct action and civil disobedience, support for social movements' struggles, advocating forms of resistance which maximize respect for life and oppressed peoples' rights, as well as the construction of local alternatives to global capitalism;
- An organisational philosophy based on decentralisation and autonomy.
For more info on the PGA CLICK HERE.
Gwent Anarchists meet on the Monday when CAN do not meet, as a basic principle that have adopted the statement “Gwent Anarchists are like-minded individuals believing in autonomy, respect & justice; against all forms of exploitation & bigotry. Aiming to increase the knowledge of & create a resistance to governments & big business abusing people & the earth."
CAN and Gwent Anarchists have been working together since day one and recently it was decided that we might as well use one website to organise, cos although there was a Cardiff Anarchists website, Gwent Anarchists always had a big input.
Of late we have been having discussions about what exactly it is that we stand for, this blog forms part of that debate, if you are involved please do contribute comments, which will eventually help us re-write the about us page on the website.
Although Cardiff and Gwent are the two main groupings at the moment, we are always happy to work with anyone who shares our values. There’s the makings of a group in the Rhondda at the moment, but we will let them get on with things while they decide what they stand for. In the mean time if there are any other groups or individuals out here please get in touch.