Nowtopia in Bristol?

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On 3 & 4 April the American activist, author and radical historian, Chris Carlsson, visited Bristol, and was hosted by Bristol Radical History Group and the Bristol anarchist bookfair collective.

On the evening of the 3rd he spoke to some 65 people at St Werburghs centre, on the subject of his most recent book ‘Nowtopia’. In the opinion of many there, he gave one of the finest talks they’d heard in a long time, mixing seamlessly a class analysis with environmentalism and the unsustainability of capitalism, and much more. Sadly the talk had to end after 70 minutes, but people there brought all available copies of his book, and conversations carried on elsewhere that evening and into the next day, when Chris visited a number of other sites in Easton.

Chris Carlsson has created a written and pictoral account of his visit to Bristol (and elsewhere), which is well worth a look – check it out!

carlsson_magpie3Find out more about his Nowtopia book here.

But more importantly, consider what you can do to bridge the sometimes absurdly large gap between different parts of the movements for social change? It is not that uncommon to hear comrades with a class analysis of society (such as class struggle anarchists) to dismiss, say, climate camp activists, out of hand. Equally, climate campers dismiss those who maintain a class analysis, as out of date. Yet if you cut through the bullshit and bravura, and drill down to the heart of the matter, both are saying fundamentally the same – that the system, or society, as it is cannot continue. They are just approaching the crux of the matter from different starting points, possibly influenced by their class backgrounds, but not necessarily so. If we are truly to want a social revolution, we could start by being more open and comradely with others in (different) struggles, and focusing more on what we have in common. Our struggle is not a battle to prove which one of us is ‘most’ right, it is the struggle for a social revolution!

Enthused by radical history and the theory and practice of resistance? Then check out the BRHG spring 2009 programme, which starts with ‘Hillsborough – what really happened’ on Monday 20 April at the Cube cinema. For inspiring tales of mass community resistance, come along to our ‘Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay’ event at the Cube on 23 April.