Want a Bookfair in 2015? Join the Bookfair Collective!

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[UPDATE: Next Bookfair Collective meeting - Wednesday 3 December, 7.30-9.30pm at Kebele social centre. This is a working meeting for anarchists with the time & commitment to be involved in organising a Bookfair over the next few months.]

It is the time of year when the Bristol anarchist bookfair collective (BABC) re-forms itself and starts planning an event for the next year. So do you want a Bristol Bookfair in 2015? And if yes…will you help make it happen by getting involved in the BABC?

goldmanPresently we have a couple of people interested in making it all happen, but the vast majority of the 2014 collective want a break this year, and that includes those who have done it for many years, and just the one year. So to put it bluntly, we need more people to make it happen, or it just wont happen!

votingillegalWe do have a provisional date lined up for late-April again…and this would tie in nicely for making an anarchist intervention into the General Election that is set for Thursday 7 May. Because as we all know, the government will get back in, and whoever it is offers us absolutely nothing.

Bookfair collective organising meeting – Wednesday 19 November, 7.30-9.30pm, at Kebele social centre, 14 Robertson Rd, Easton, Bristol BS5 6JY

  • This is a working meeting for people who are interested in being a part of BABC, are anarchists, and can commit the necessary time and effort to the collective – regular meeting attendance, taking on and completing a variety of tasks over a period of 5 months, and of course being available on the day all day.
  • So no time-wasters, liberals, reformists, political parties, popular-frontists, cops or wannabee-elected-politicians!
  • If you have a query about what is involved then email us before the 19th, ideally with a contact phone number, and we’ll get in touch.
  • If you have suggestions, ideas, constructive criticisms, or complaints, but dont have the time/desire to be a part of BABC, then just email them into bristolanarchistbookfair[at]riseup[dot]net and we’ll look when we can.

no govtThe Bristol Bookfair has consistently been the largest explicitly anarchist political event in the south west region, attracting around 1000 people in recent years. In election year it may well be even bigger as people seek out real alternatives to the career politicians & friends of big business in the main parties, and that includes UKIP. Wouldn’t you like to be a part of making the Bookfair happen in 2015?

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Cops at the door – some Bristol anarchists respond

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[UPDATE 15/11/2014 - Anarchists start investigation into dangerous police extremists - full report here.]

In the midst of a period of intensified police harassment of some anarchists & other radicals in & around Bristol, the Bristol Defendant Solidarity project and numerous other groups have issued a statement of defiance, mixing support & solidarity for those who need it, with legal advice & rights info. Here’s an excerpt: “These home visits, arrests, searches and requests to snitch are not just about information and evidence gathering. They have as much to do with a concerted effort to intimidate and divide us all. A big part of their plan is to scare people into inaction and to create divisions between us. They hope to get us blaming each other for increased surveillance to the point where someone falls for their lies and starts talking to the bad guys. These are tactics that have been used against social movements in countless places and times.” Read the full statement here and the legal info here.

Since June 2014 police have escalated their efforts to find the persons unknown who have claimed online a series of targetted attacks against the infrastructure of capital and the state, most famously the burning down of a new police firearms training centre in Portishead just over a year ago. Whilst police have been hunting for the anarchist known as ‘Badger’ since late-summer 2011, when the Bristol (Evening) Post building was attacked for its complicity in the post-Tesco riots clampdown, their renewed efforts seem to have been triggered by an article in the Daily Mail on 1 June. This near-hysterical piece, including rent-an-MP quotes, was most likely planted in the media by Special Branch to prepare the ground, and has been followed up locally by regular articles in the Bristol Post (a part of the same right-wing media corporation). What facts their articles do contain, come not from any investigative journalism but appear to be largely from communiques posted regularly online by the aforementioned persons unknown claiming actions, which total way more than 50 over recent years. A 10 minute doc on BBC1 Inside Out West on 22 September followed the same story (Youtube video). Nobody it seems has so far been charged & prosecuted for these actions, and it appears the police have no more idea of who it is than the rest of Bristol does, beyond searching for the elusive ‘Badger’.

bdsleafletThe 3 year fruitless police search for ‘Badger’ has resulted in infrequent searches & raids (often of squats), a few pointless arrests, a couple of police visits to individuals’ workplaces, and the stopping of a few individuals at airports. Since June 2014 this activity was ramped up, leading to at least 6 arrests of individuals. However as far as is known, most have been released without charge, a couple have ‘police bail’, and some suffered extensive police searches of their homes. It seems very much that these individuals were literally in the wrong place at the wrong time. In addition, it has become known that more people have been stopped at an airport under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, but were not charged with anything. For a while the open-access news website Bristol Indymedia was the focus of police attention as a result of communiques posted to its newswire in recent years by persons unknown. Police visited various known activists in an attempt to find the people running B/Indymedia, and failing to do so they obtained a court order to seize its server in mid-August (details here), effectively shutting it down. This was the second seizure of the B/Indymeda server, the first was in June 2005, for a similar reason – the police hoped its server files would contain information about those posting up articles. But as in 2005, it doesnt, and you’d have thought the police would have remembered that?! Subsequent to the server seizure, the police seem to have re-focused on finding ‘Badger’, visiting numerous known public activists at their homes and asking for information, and/or encouraging them to snitch, but getting no information and as often as not finding peoples front doors firmly shut.

talking to police medIt must by now be abundantly clear to the police that nobody knows anymore than they do about ‘Badger’ and the persons unknown, and clearly the police have no useful evidence at all, so to an extent their harassment of activists can be laughed-off. Except that it is not funny. It is clearly an attempt to intimidate, probably an attempt to entrap, and possibly an attempt to fit someone (anyone) up so that they have something to show for all their wasted time – it would not be the first time British police have done that! Hence the statement above comes out now from activist groups offering defiance, and solidarity/support/advice for anyone feeling threatened.

At a time when the Tory/LibDem government, backed by most other parties, are suggesting removing protection of human rights and curtailing the freedom of anyone they deem to be an ‘extremist’ there seems to be an increasing momentum towards removing our traditional civil liberties and criminalising political dissent. The same laws introduced on the back of hysteria about Muslim terrorists can equally be turned against anyone the government wishes to target, just as the misuse of the Terrorism Act 2000 against political activists & protesters demonstrates. To do this they want to remove everyone’s right to privacy and snoop on your emails and phone calls. If this was Iran, China or Russia they would denounce it as undemocratic – but the citizens of the UK are all under suspicion by their own government.

The police are the most visible arm of our increasingly secretive surveillance state, sent out to do the dirty work of their political & corporate masters. We know from working class history and personal experience that the police everywhere are able to act with virtual impunity, unless we stop them. From the USA to Turkey, Hong Kong to the UK, police trample on political dissent, brutalise protesters, infiltrate campaigns, coerce female activists into relationships, and shoot to kill. It really doesnt matter if you are a ‘peaceful’ or ‘violent’ protester, to the state and the corporate bosses you are the enemy within. So we need to get our acts together, get back on the streets, get involved with campaigns or start new ones where they are needed, resist the increasing economic & political attacks on us, recognise we have more in common with each other than with the state & bosses, and above all demonstrate in whatever ways we are comfortable with some basic solidarity, support & mutual aid. Capitalism remains in crisis, expects us to pay for it, and in its desperation becomes ever more barbaric, but it only survives whilst we, the enormous majority, allow it to.

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Workplace & Community Resistance

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Two discussion meetings of interest to anarchists take place over the next 10 days, both happen to be at Kebele social centre.

On 16th October ‘Another Workplace Is Possible’ takes in recent examples of workers resisting (and taking over), and discusses ways to fightback against current UK exploitative work practices.On 20th October ‘Private space, Public space, Communal space – anarchist participation in the struggles for Barcelona’, with activist-author Peter Gelderloos, hears about recent struggles there against gentrification, and how they may apply here.

calendarBut that’s not all! October into November sees a plethora of meetings, events, and we hope action, across Bristol. Organised by a variety of groups/campaigns, and aiming to provide ‘information for action’, as well as historical perspectives and deeper theoretical understanding. You can find many of these events on the new Events Diary initiative from Bristol AFed, whilst also well worth checking are events at or by Cube Cinema, Hydra Bookshop, Kebele social centre, and Bristol Radical History Group. Do get along!

workplaceGelderloos_meetsm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…and Continue reading

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Still The Enemy Within

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Miners StrikedocA brilliant new documentary about the 1984/5 Miners Strike goes on general release at the start of October. Still The Enemy Within’ is an independent, crowd-funded film lasting 112minutes, that has no experts nor film stars in it, and is sadly only likely to be seen at smaller independent cinemas. Pre-release screenings have been taking place at various festivals these last few months such as Sheffield DocFest & Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival (where we saw it), to rave reviews, while a formal cinema licence was being obtained. You can catch it locally on 21 October, 7.30pm at the Cube Cinema in Bristol (ticket info), as well as nearby in Cardiff, Bath & Clevedon – full list of screenings.      Continue reading

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Books, more Bookfairs, and Ideas

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It is now five months on from the 2014 Bristol Bookfair. Despite some crap weather in the late morning, the sun shone later and the turnout was pretty good as once again hundreds turned out to grab some political literature, attend the discussions, network & socialise. As usual the Bookfair was self-funding, with stall fees, donations, the cafe and after-party combining to more than cover costs. The 2014 Bookfair Collective has now dispersed, and an event in 2015 will only happen if enough people come together to make it happen? With the next UK General Election due around May 7th 2015, an Anarchist Bookfair around that time could be part of an intervention into the ongoing failure of UK party politics & parliamentary rule, and the dire need for some serious alternatives!

London 2014There’s a good chance you may be in need of some more anarchist literature & discussions to inspire you with ideas? Lets face it the world hasn’t exactly improved since April! Issues such as resource wars, climate change, wealth inequality, privatisation, political/financial corruption, corporate & state control, nationalism, racism, religion, sexual abuse, to name just a few, continue to impact negatively on all our lives, and we can be certain the political parties wont solve these problems for us. So here are a few upcoming events and resources offering you the anarchist alternative…. Continue reading

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Bookfair 2014: Workshops & Stalls announced

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See the full workshop programme and list of groups with stalls for the 2014 Bookfair.

Download the updated Workshop timetable PDF (with descriptions) and the new 2014 Bookfair Programme PDF

Bookfair-leaflet-front-web-300x215

Bookfair-leaflet-back-web-300x215Keep updated & help spread the word:

Follow us on Facebook.

Join the event page.

Follow us on Twitter.

Pick up new flyers & stickers  from Kebele & Hydra

Continue reading

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Bookfair 2014 : List of Groups

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All of these groups will have stalls at the Bookfair:

Continue reading

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Bookfair 2014 : Workshop Programme

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Please see below for updated workshop programme and descriptions. Printed programmes will be available on the day.

Download Workshop timetable PDF (with descriptions)

Workshop Timetable (see workshop descriptions below)

Workshop Timetable (see workshop descriptions below)

 

Also see Bristol Radical History Group’s page on their talks. Continue reading

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Update : Bristol Anarchist Bookfair 2014

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Hi everyone, we are really excited about the 6th annual Bristol Anarchist Bookfair on Saturday 26th April 2014 at the Trinity Centre, Trinity Rd, BS2 0NW. (map)

BristolAnarchistBookfair-BartRead all about how you can be part of it >>>

Please spread the word by sharing this page on social media >>>

As politicians proclaim ‘economic recovery’ the gap between rich and poor in Britain continues to grow. It’s not surprising really. Another housing bubble, combined with Cameron’s ‘permanent austerity’ package was unlikely to do much for anyone but the top 10%. As we continue to bailout the bankers and the true extent of MPs (false) expense claims becomes clear, those worst affected by cuts are demonised as “scroungers”. Continue reading

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Anarchism in 2014

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BABC_logo_smallFollowing the success of 2013′s event, the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair Collective has reconvened and are making plans for next year’s Bookfair. Saturday 26th April 2014 has been marked down as the date so make sure to put it in your diaries! We are also very pleased to announce that we will be returning to the Trinity Centre. (local map)

With a wide range of talks covering everything from anarchism and education to extreme energy and prison abolition; over 60 stalls; an outdoor space and activities (including a bouncy castle!); the Radical History Zone at Hydra Bookshop; Permananet Culture Now marquee & permaculture in the Trinity garden; wicked vegan cafe run by Kebele cafe; and a lively after party at The Croft, the 2013 Bookfair set itself a high standard that we hope to match and surpass this year! Continue reading

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