Confederation of Revolutionary Anarcho-Syndicalists

Full name Confederation of revolutionary anarcho-syndicalists
Native name Конфедерация революционных анархо-синдикалистов (КРАС-МАТ)
Founded 1995
Affiliation International Workers Association
Country Russia

Confederation of revolutionary anarcho-syndicalists (CRAS-IWA) is the Russian section of the International Workers Association (AIT). CRAS-IWA is committed to the development of anarchist trade union movement, so as to enable the transition from modern capitalism to statefree communism.


Confederation of revolutionary anarcho-syndicalists was established at the founding congress of 5 August 1995, held in Moscow. It was formed in result of long search for ways to develop the anarchist movement in Russia at the turn of the 1980s in the former Soviet Union. In 1989–1991, the anarchist movement developed in the frames of Confederation of anarcho-syndicalists (KAS). CRAS-IWA view KAS as a reformist, anti-communist and pro-market organization.

The ideological bases of KAS were not accepted by all of his participants, and this situation led in 1990 to a split of Assotiation of anarchist movements (ADA) from KAS. 5 March 1991, Initiative of revolutionary anarchists (IREAN) was also established. It was the first attempt to create an anarcho-communist counterweight to pro-market KAS. Subsequently, Confederation revolutionary anarcho-syndicalists arose as a continuation of IREAN.[1]

On the Constitutive Congress of CRAS-IWA, several resolutions were adopted: «On the situation in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia, and our problems», «On the resistance to militarism», «On the resistance to the fascist threat», «On the relation to other libertarian groups» and a number of others.

At the second Congress of CRAS in Gomel (Republic of Belarus), 24–25 August 1996, the earlier-made intention to join the International Workers Association was confirmed. The delegates at the Congress of IWA of December 1996 were elected. This IWA Congress adopted CRAS as a section of anarcho-syndicalist International. Joining the IWA was ratified at the third Congress of CRAS-IWA 29 August 1997, held in Lviv (Ukraine).

The organization publishes a paper and a theoretical journal, distributes leaflets and stickers, occasionally publishes pamphlets and makes graffiti campaigns.

The activists of the Moscow organization of CRAS-IWA provided active support and technical assistance to some strike movements: from these of teachers in Moscow region (1995), of workers at the plant «Rostselmash» (Rostov-on-Don), at machine-building plant in Yasnogorsk (1999)[2] (the strike was led by general assemblies of workers), of building workers in Moscow (1999) and up to these of "Ford" motor-car workers (2007) and of shop-assistants of "Detsky Mir" store in Moscow`s suburb Khimki (2009). Aiding to these strikes, the CRAS-IWA members tried to convey to the workers anarcho-syndicalist ideas and tactics.

The members of CRAS-IWA develop big activity distributing the antimilitarist propaganda. They participated in the actions against the First and Second Chechen Wars, the war in South Ossetia (August 2008) and in other anti-war actions.

In Baikalsk, members of CRAS-IWA were initiators of an inter-profession workers union which was subsequently destroyed by repressions to the End of the 1990s.

The members of CRAS-IWA are actively involved in demonstrations, pickets and other protest actions, promoting experiences, methods and ideas of anarcho-syndicalism. Since late 2008, activists of CRAS-IWA organize actions against growth of prices.

As a result of general decline of social movements, only the Moscow general unions organization remained in the CRAS-IWA by the end of 2007. In the June 2008, also the Federation of workers in education, science and technics (FRONT) was found. Some internal problems emerging in 2000s culminated in September 2008 when a little group was excluded from CRAS-IWA during a general members referendum for advocating of antisyndicalist and national-anarchist ("ethno-anarchist") ideas.[3]

In the meantime a way out of problems was marked, new people and also new friends of CRAS-IWA outside Moscow region emerged. Now, there are two little union initiatives in CRAS-IWA: FRONT[4] и and new Inter-branch (general) workers union (MOST) organized by ex-MPST members remaining in the CRAS-IWA and by new members.[5] Both are autonomous in the frame of organizational and ideal principles of CRAS and of IWA.

Ideal base of the Confederation of revolutionary anarcho-syndicalists

According to organizational principles approved by the constituent congress, the aim of CRAS is a society of free (anarchist) communism and a means to achieve it is a revolutionary syndicalism, that is a mass movement of workers, organized on the principles of anarchism. The CRAS considers as his initial task the creation of the revolutionary and independent class trade unions capable to fight both for everyday interests of working people as well as for social revolution. The CRAS intends in the future to transform itself into a confederation of such unions. The CRAS adheres to programmatic and organizational principles of anarcho-syndicalist International IWA and is member of IWA since 1996. The Confederation rejects any statist, partyist, capitalist and "state-socialist" ideology and tactics and uses only the methods of self-organization and of direct action (that is of direct people defending their own interests)[6]

Members of CRAS-IWA can`t be persons exploiting the hired labor and members of political parties. There are no chiefs and paid functionaries in the organization.

The CRAS rejects participation in elections and institutions of authority and it is not involved in the struggle for power. It "triple strategy" includes support and promotion of social resistance against the system, in course of which, can occur the self-organization of working people can emerge, developing then into a system of general public self-administration"[7]


CRAS-IWA rejects participation in blocs and coalitions with any political party, but it is ready to cooperate (and it cooperates to the extent possible) with various civic, social, professional, environmental, and similar initiatives and associations, which seek to protect the social economic and human interests of workers.

It is about interaction in direct protest actions, whose objectives do not contradict the ideal lines of CRAS-IWA.


Confederation of revolutionary anarcho-syndicalists publishes paper "Pryamoye Deystviye" ("Direct Action") (since 1994, some time in the past in the form of a theoretical review) and the magazine "Libertarnaya Mysl" ("Libertarian thought") (from the end of 2008). In addition, during a few years after 1998, bulletin «The new workers movement» was published.

Also a series of booklets was issued by CRAS-IWA ("Positive program of anarchists" of G. Hadjiev, «What is anarcho-syndicalism?» and some others).

The paper Chornaya Zvezda (Black Star) published by CRAS-IWA in 2003–2008, is now in the hands of splinter group MPST and has no relation with CRAS after 2008.


Some references in the media and the press (in Russian)

In the media:

In books:

See also

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