Building An Anarchist Future – callout for the 2016 Bristol Bookfair

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BAB2016_poster1medThis is the main text Callout for the 2016 Bristol Anarchist Bookfair. A shorter version will appear on the Bookfair Flyer shortly. Check the website for Stall bookings and Workshop Proposals. Please also read the Bookfair Collective’s Aims & Principles. Then come along to the south west’s largest, explicitly radical, political gathering – All Welcome!

Building an Anarchist Future
Capitalism isn’t working…

Every year seems to bring more bad news. The poor have to pay for the mistakes of the rich through unjust schemes like the Bedroom Tax, while the sick lose their benefits to Work Capability Assessments and the like, leaving suicide rates on the up. Those who are sanctioned have all income stripped away, and governmental Workfare schemes push businesses to choose free labour over paid staff. The cuts, as predicted, have hit the poorest hardest, with many having to choose between heating or food. Public services like care homes and day centres continue to vanish. The NHS is being ripped apart and sold off, taking away vital services, such as mental health, from those who need it most. Massive school budget cuts lead to unqualified teaching staff. Workers must work longer and harder for less, many with the uncertainty of zero-hour contracts and part-time work, with no hope of a pension.

At the same time farmers are given false hope through the murder of hundreds of endangered badgers. Global climate change has seen droughts lasting years in many countries, with the natural result of unsustainable export-crop agriculture leaving only harvest failure and starvation. Extreme weather patterns have increased flooding everywhere, and entire ecosystems move closer to the brink. At the same time ‘our’ government’s policies only heighten the threat of climate change through fracking and airport expansion. The weapons trade, wars for oil, and extreme right-wing politics have stirred up conflict throughout the middle east and beyond, pushing ordinary people towards drastic decisions to try and save their lives.

There is hope though – people have been fighting back. Whether that is through strikes, direct action or the taking up of arms. Capitalism isn’t working. Reformism has failed. People want change.

But if capitalism collapsed tomorrow, we ask ourselves:
Would we be ready?

As anarchists, we spend a lot of time fighting against oppressive structures, whether it be patriarchy, polluters, bosses, or weapons manufacturers. But we also discuss our hopes and dreams for a new, more equal world – that of anarchism. We have developed concepts around mutual aid, solidarity, co-operation, direct action, equality, and non-hierarchical organisation, but how do we put these into practice?

At this year’s Bristol Anarchist Bookfair, we want to create a safe space for people to explore these ideas, whether you are new to the concept or an old hand. How would we do health care, education or food production differently? How will we create a more equal society, so that people will feel safe and accepted whatever their sexual orientation, gender, ability, race or age? What about oppressive behaviour; how will we hold people to account for their actions if we abolish prisons and the police? How will we distribute resources worldwide? Who will do the cleaning, road maintenance, sewage treatment and other ‘dirty work’?

If revolutions happen tomorrow we won’t have all the answers, and an anarchist society will not occur overnight – there will be ongoing change & adaptation. But the core principles of anarchism provide us with the building blocks for the future, and how to get there. Let’s be ready!

In love & solidarity – Bristol anarchist bookfair collective 2016

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Psst! Got any anarchist art to display at the Bookfair?

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Art Space Callout for the Bookfair

BAB2016stick1_artmedCalling all those that love to put their politics into their art!
Whether you enjoy doing a bit of spoken word, or use a spraycan to subvertise, or perhaps you’ve subverted your old lego collection to build a model of an anarchist Bristol? To those that have a cupboard full of beautiful banners, or have a wall covered with posters and stickers..bring them along!

This year at the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair, we are looking to have a gallery displaying anarchist artwork, with a PA for those that want to do something more vocal – spoken word, poetry, storytelling etc!

This year’s theme is ‘Building an anarchist future’ – basically what would an anarchist society look like? For example, how would waste be managed, or power produced? What about food and resource distribution? How would an anarchist society treat gender and sexuality, race and abilities? Any work around this theme would be great, but we would also like all your protest art too!

Please email bristolanarchistbookfair[at]riseup.net or call/text 07486267013 if you would like to contribute some art, or if you would like to run a creative workshop, or help run the space.

You could drop smaller art contributions off to us at a Bookfair planning meeting (ie 7 & 21 February, then bi-weekly)…but ideally you’ll bring it along on the Friday afternoon/early Saturday and put it up yourself! We will be in the Trinity Centre on the Friday 29 April from 2pm, and from 9am on Saturday morning for you to put it up.

Please note you will have to take down/remove your artwork when the Bookfair ends at 6pm on 30 April. Many thanks for you contribution!

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Anarchist Bookfair – Aims and Principles

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babc_logoThe 2016 Bristol Anarchist Bookfair Collective (BABC) recently agreed some key Aims for the 2016 Bristol Anarchist Bookfair with it’s theme of ‘Building An Anarchist Future’; at the same time we clarified & re-confirmed some basic Principles for present & future BABC’s to work with.

Aims – In 2016 the BABC aims to:
–   Explore the idea of building an anarchist future, how our journeys towards liberation might look and challenges that we foresee along the way. Continue reading

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Callout for Stalls and Workshops at the 2016 Bristol Anarchist Bookfair

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BABF2016_1medBuilding an anarchist future

Call-out for workshops and stalls for the 2016 Bristol Anarchist Bookfair, which will be on Saturday 30th April 2016, from 11am – 6pm, at Trinity Centre, Trinity Rd, Bristol BS2 0NW.

If capitalism collapsed tomorrow would we be ready?
It’s hard to plan for an uncertain future, as we have no idea how things will play out. Nor is it realistic to think there will ever be a point where we will have reached our destination or ideal utopia.

However, we can work on building our resilience & solidarity & co-operation, experimenting with different ways of organising, exchanging skills & resources, growing food & sustainability, dealing with conflict. and so on.

The aim of this year’s Bookfair is to focus on the futureas capital’s global crisis deepens and conflicts escalate, with disastrous consequences for humanity & the planet, the need for lasting social revolution has never been greaterthe future is bright IF the future is anarchism! Here’s the details & forms for Stall bookings & Workshop proposals….
Continue reading

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Organising for the 2016 Bristol Anarchist Bookfair

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BABF2016_1medSince our Bookfair callout and first meeting on 4th October, the 2016 Bristol anarchist bookfair collective (BABC) has been getting on with the various tasks relevant to setting up the 2016 Bookfair. Now that we are into 2016, BABC will be meeting more regularly to ensure the smooth running of the event…the next Bookfair collective meeting is:
Sunday 10 January 24 January 7th February at 7pm, upstairs at Kebele social centre (14 Robertson Rd, Bristol BS5) after we’ve eaten at Kebele’s Sunday social vegan cafe at 6.30pm.

If you have the time & energy to commit to help with organising over the next 3/4 months then please come along, or to find out more / offer specific help, you can contact us at
                                                                               bristolanarchistbookfair[at]riseup.net
Continue reading

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Kebele social centre – a 20 year anarchist experiment

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Kebe_20logo_pinkSMKebele social centre, in Easton, Bristol, has now been going for 20 years and is celebrating by holding a NovemberFest – which is in fact 6 weeks worth of activities, events, workshops, cafes, parties & arts – alongside it’s normal weekly activities. As ever events are either free, or for a suggested donation of just a few pounds, and nobody is turned away because they are skint. Continue reading

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Call out for Bristol Anarchist Bookfair Collective 2016

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2011tshirt_image_smallerIf you enjoyed the Bristol anarchist Bookfair in April 2015 and want to get more involved, then come to our first organizing meeting on the 4th October 2015. it will be held at Kebele social center, 14 Robertson road, BS5 6JZ for a working lunch at 1pm. bring a vegan dish to share! new people are always welcome, and we would love to hear any fresh ideas.

Update – Next Meeting: Friday 30th October, 7pm start, at Kebele social centre, 14 Robertson Rd, Easton BS5 6JY. If you have the time/energy to get involved & help make the Bookfair happen then come along!

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Bristol Anarchist Bookfair 2016

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BABF2016_2medThe date for the 8th Bristol Anarchist Bookfair is set to be Saturday 30 April 2016, and a venue has been provisionally booked.

This will be the day before May Day, and we hope to see a mass May Day event in Bristol to ram home the message that not only did the vast majority not vote for the Tories, but we actively oppose all and any austerity cuts too. If anyone is thinking of organising event(s) for May Day then please get in touch for a spot of mutual aid!

SheffieldThe week before the Bristol Bookfair, there will be an Anarchist Bookfair in Sheffield on 23rd Aprilsee website. The first UK Anarchist Bookfair of 2016 will be in Cardiff on 20th Februarysee FB event.

There’ll be a callout shortly for people who would like to get involved with, and form, the Collective to organise our 2016 Bookfair – so watch this space!

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30 Reasons Why Voting Does Not Equal Democracy!

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To vote or not to vote. That is the question. And the debate did not start with Russell Brand. Here are a few a reasons to consider why voting does not equal democracy. You may be able to think of more.
(This article was sent to us by a local anarchist a while back, now’s a good time to run it!)
whoever you vote_rulingclass
Continue reading

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That was the 7th Bristol Anarchist Bookfair!

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Bookfair_welcomeSo that’s us done with the 7th Bristol Anarchist Bookfair! Massive thanks to all who came, all who helped, and all who donated at the Bookfair and/or After-Party. Will there be an 8th Bookfair? Well that’s down to you! There’ll be a callout in the autumn to see if there are enough of those willing to put one on next year…

Bookfair_banners1As this year’s Bookfair happened to coincide with the 2015 electoral farce, we took a principled position of opposition & critique towards British representative democracy. As anarchists we have no desire to be governed and ruled over by anyone, be they left or right wing, so we don’t support any political party seeking such a position. To that end we worked hard to keep the Bookfair free from party political politics, and rejected a very few stall applications from those who seek to govern us, as well as a couple of others who we did not consider to have anything in common with anarchist aims & principles. Continue reading

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