Tag Archives: 2014

Spanish State – Operation Pandora: Democracy imprisons 7 more anarchists

[Update 17/1/15 – in response to an international solidarity callout for anarchist prisoners in Spain, some Bristol anarchists held a protest on Friday 16 January. See this Bristol AFed report & pics]
Recent years have seen growing, militant and popular anarchist movements across Spain. Unsurprisingly these have been met with state repression – attacks on protests & assemblies, arrests, beatings, imprisonment – but movements have continued to flourish. Mired in corruption and economic chaos, the Spanish state has recently moved to introduce a new law, the ‘Gag Law’, or Ley Mordaza, to clampdown further on opposition. It was no surprise then when on 16 December mass raids on homes and anarchist spaces were carried out, leading to at least 4 anarchists on bail and 7 on remand. The response of anarchists, other radicals and indeed non-radicals was immediate, as a series of protests & actions have occured daily ever since. The twitter hashtag #YoTambienSoyAnarquista (I too am an anarchist) has achieved mass circulation. The article below is one of many such statements of solidarity & struggle, and comes from the Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youth (Federación Ibérica de Juventudes Libertarias – FIJL), a Spanish anarchist organisation that pre-dates the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39. You can read here the Spanish original, and here the original English translation. Details of a Spanish solidarity fund/bank account are here.

Spanish State – Operation Pandora: Democracy imprisons 7 more anarchists

On December 16, Operation Pandora was unleashed. The State’s security forces burst into different houses and squats in Barcelona and Madrid, and eleven anarchist comrades were kidnapped.

NiInocentesThis kidnapping—and it couldn’t have been done any other way—was coordinated with the media, who helped justify and legitimate it with heart and soul, spreading the news that the police had carried out an operation against international anarchist terrorism. This kidnapping of eleven comrades set off a multitude of rallies and demonstrations that same day in different cities—Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and Zaragoza, for example—thousands of people coming out in solidarity with the kidnapped comrades and showing rage and hatred towards the State’s new repressive operation against the libertarian movement. Continue reading Spanish State – Operation Pandora: Democracy imprisons 7 more anarchists

Cops at the door – some Bristol anarchists respond

[UPDATE 7/12/2014 – In a highly unusual move, the local police & Crimestoppers announced a £10k reward for information about a named Bristol anarchist – read this half-decent article.
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 – in response to the police murder of Mark Duggan in London, and for the Post’s 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.

Workplace & Community Resistance

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!

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…and Continue reading Workplace & Community Resistance

Books, more Bookfairs, and Ideas

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 Books, more Bookfairs, and Ideas

Bookfair 2014: Workshops & Stalls announced

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.

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Pick up new flyers & stickers  from Kebele & Hydra

Continue reading Bookfair 2014: Workshops & Stalls announced

Update : Bristol Anarchist Bookfair 2014

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 Update : Bristol Anarchist Bookfair 2014

Anarchism in 2014

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 Anarchism in 2014

Bristol Bookfair 2014

A possible Bristol anarchist bookfair for 2014 has been provisionally booked in for Saturday 26 April. The venue would once again be the Trinity Centre, after the success we had there in 2013.

BABC_logo_smallSome individuals from the 2013 Bookfair Collective will send a call out to form a new collective at some point in the autumn of 2013. However it should be noted that some of the 2013 collective are in favour of holding bi-annual Bristol bookfairs. Therefore, to hold a bookfair in 2014 we will need new and additional people to get involved! Watch this space….

If the Bristol bookfair 2013 gave you a buzz, then check out these upcoming events:
Saturday 5 October – celebrate 18 years of anarchist resistance and creativity with Kebele social centre at their ‘big birthday bash’ – see poster below & details here.

Monday 7 October – Indymedia: Past, Present & Future. Important meeting to discuss the future of Bristol Indymedia. Details here.

Saturday 19 October – the London Anarchist Bookfair, the oldest & largest anarchist bookfair in the world, attracting comrades from around the UK and from abroad. See poster below or details here. Continue reading Bristol Bookfair 2014