Tag Archives: climate

30 Reasons Why Voting Does Not Equal Democracy!

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 30 Reasons Why Voting Does Not Equal Democracy!

Resist Corporations’ attempts to muzzle dissent

Breaking news 13 March – seems EDF have F’D OFF and bottled the court action for damages. See ‘EDF in dramatic climbdown’.

Ever since the labour movement of the 1970’s posed the question of ‘power’ to the political elite & boss class, successive Thatcherite governments have sort to crush union power, or at least tie the unions up in legal knots and with financial threats. They have largely succeeded, and must be emboldened by the relatively weak response to the Coalition government’s politically motivated austerity measures resulting in job threats & losses, and pay freezes.

EDF poster_smallHowever whilst the potential power of organised labour has lain fairly dormant and unused, opposition to austerity and corporate domination has tended to come from community and activist campaigns, with some success. Whilst numerous laws, and the reality of arrest & prison, have been used to intimidate campaigns, they remain an ongoing thorn in the side of power of capital and the state, with the potential to go further. So no doubt with one eye on potential struggles ahead, we can expect new or not often used measures to be tried on by corporations and the state.

Continue reading Resist Corporations’ attempts to muzzle dissent

In Defence Of Lifestyle Politics

Everybody has a lifestyle of some sort or other. Some lifestyles are quite common, those of working people with kids for example. Others are less common, not many have lifestyles like the royal family, or the Tory/LibDem cabinet, or the Pope. But in anarchist & radical circles, ‘lifestylism’ or ‘lifestyle politics’, are often terms used in a derogatory way – people think dismissively perhaps of wealthy drop outs who dont need to work and can afford all the expensive ‘green’ foods & goods, or at the other end of the scale there’s the scruffy cider punks with a dog on a string living in a shitty squat – however incorrect such assumptions may actually be.

The article below appeared in issue 14 of the now defunct Shift magazine, in response to an earlier article ‘Give up Lifestylism‘ in issue 13. We reprint it here, with Matt’s permission, as its well written and we think relevant to many in Bristol. It’s a topic that may well come up at the Bristol bookfair in April.(note – images have been added by us.)

In Defence of Lifestyle Politics
by Matt Wilson

In the last edition of Shift Magazine, Josie Hooker and Lauren Wroe wrote an article suggesting we ought to abandon the idea of lifestyle politics. Here, I respond to their concerns and go on to argue that lifestyle is a fundamental part of social change. Continue reading In Defence Of Lifestyle Politics

Radical History Zone programme at the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair

The programme for the Radical History Zone at this years Bookfair is now complete, and available.

rhz_poster_screenIt’s a mouth-watering prospect with some fascinating events, that runs from Friday 6 May until lunchtime on Sunday 8 May. Organised once again by the Bristol Radical History Group, it includes some real treats for anarchists and radicals of every persuasion – from footie fans to free festival lovers, academics to direct actionistas, poets and puppeteers – you will not be disappointed!

Still not clear why we have a RHZ? Then read this article from last year.

You can read the entire RHZ programme online on BRHG’s website.

Or you can download it and save your copy here:
as an open office doc – rhz_programme
as a PDF – rhz_programme

Enjoy! Don’t forget to check out the other meetings and stalls at the Bookfair. Why not come to some of these events in the week before the Bookfair, including a May Day film & discussion night at The Cube on 2 May? Full details here.

We’ll be seeing you then….

The root cause of our problems. Money.

The new financial year is kicking in, and with it all the new budget cuts and austerity measures forced upon us by the political class and their corporate masters. If you’ve already had your payslip for March, you’ll have seen your NI payments went up. As our wages/incomes devalue, down to 2005 levels already, things are going to get worse. Meanwhile inflation rises along with unemployment, whilst benefits and services are cut. Yet banks and other corporations hand out big fat bonuses and salary increases, and there’s plenty of spare cash for another war or two. So plenty of money and wealth around, its just not shared out equally. Those who hold it control power, and they won’t be giving it away, unless we take it. But what if there was no money, or we created a new world outside the capitalist system?

In a rare radical moment, last Saturday’s Guardian newspaper (run on capitalist lines of course), on the morning of the great protests in London, printed the following article by John Holloway. The author of ‘Crack Capitalism’ and a host of other books worth checking out, lobbed a serious challenge into the cuts debate:

Cracks in the rule of money

How do we escape a system that’s tearing up the world? We say ‘no’, and do things differently.

These are days of rage. Rage in the Arab world, of course, but also on the streets of Athens, Dublin, Rome, Paris, Madrid, and now a loud clamourous rage on the streets of London.

An age of crisis is an age of frustrated hopes, frustrated life. We want to go to university but it is too expensive. We need good healthcare, but we cannot pay for it. We need homes, and we can see homes standing empty, but they are not for us. Or, for the millions of people who are starving: we want to eat, we can see that there is plenty of food for everyone, but something stands between us and the food – money, or the lack of it. Continue reading The root cause of our problems. Money.

Anti-High Speed Train campaign in the Basque country

A campaign activist speaks – Wednesday 1 September, 7pm at Kebele social centre

A campaigner from the Basque country (annexed land in northern Spain) is currently visiting the UK talking about this campaign, and making links with similar campaigns against environmental destruction.
We can exclusively reveal this campaigner is in fact one of the co-founders, back in 1995, of the squatted kebele Kulture Projekt (now the Kebele social centre and community co-op), and its lovely having him around, if only for a week or so, before he returns to his life and work and campainging back in his home country. Continue reading Anti-High Speed Train campaign in the Basque country

A critical look at the G20 London protests one year on

Well we nearly stormed one of them...
Well we nearly stormed one of them...

The article below is fairly short, sharp and to the point in its critique of last year’s G20 protests and the ‘movement’. It first appeared today on UK Indymedia, the author is unknown. However it articulates what some people, at least, are thinking, and is reposted here to generate discussion. (Images added by Bookfair person. For post-G20 info on arrests and Ian Tomlinson see the Bristol ABC blog).

You may disagree? Perhaps you were on the roof at Jesters No-Tesco squat, or out trashing other Tescos? A climate camp veteran perhaps? Or maybe you’ve come out as an anarchist-communist or class-struggle anarchist and just joined/set up a new group? Maybe from where you are standing the future looks bright and the revolution is just one more action away? In which case thats great, get stuck in, may the force be with you. If you’d like to disagree with this (unknown) author then send in your view.

The Summer of Rage? A critical look at the G20 London protests one year on (original article here)

Did anyone notice the summer of rage? Like all British summers, it was disappointingly non-existent: a few letters in the guardian, a climate camp of Cath Kidston tents and, to top it all, hardly a day of sun. Continue reading A critical look at the G20 London protests one year on

Bookfair organising and other upcoming events

Tonight, Tuesday 9 February, sees our second organising meeting for the 2010 Bristol anarchist bookfair. We have been checking out various venues, which we’ll be discussing further. Plus we have a couple of pencilled in potential bookfair dates – the 11 or 18 September. We’ll also be looking further at possible themes for the bookfair, and its format. Plenty of items for keen anarchists to get their teeth into. We do need more people to get involved in the bookfair collective – the more people means we can organise better and more varied events. The bookfair is a very public anarchist event and a great opportunity for anarchists in Bristol to engage with a wide range of people. It is essentially your event, so dont just expect us to organise it for you.

circle-a_red_star_textTonights meeting takes place at Kebele social centre, 14 Robertson Rd, Bristol BS5 6JY, from 7.30 to 9pm. In the near future we hope to take the organising meetings to other venues, and we’d also be happy to scome and talk about the bookfair with your group, campaign, or network. get in touch.

Following on from our well attended event at The Cube on 1 February about the J18/Seattle protests, we have plenty of ideas for other events covering various topics. Again we’d like to hear from other anarchists what they think needs discussing? For example, some of us think Bristol’s anarchists would do well to hold some sort of weekend ‘politics and strategy’ gathering, which would mix political debate with some forward planning and co-ordination around agreed strategies. What do you think?

Of course many of Bristol’s healthy mix of campaigns, groups and networks continue to organise ongoing activities, many but not all of which appear on the Bristol Indymedia newswire and calendar. Here’s a few upcoming: Continue reading Bookfair organising and other upcoming events

Matters of interest to local anarchists

and for those who would like to know more about anarchism

a-bookThe bookfair collective reconvened last week. At our meeting we looked over an organisational timeline for organising the next Bristol anarchist bookfair (or indeed any bookfair), and chewed over a few other ideas for the coming months that some or all of us will be involved in: Continue reading Matters of interest to local anarchists

Is the recession really over?

Much spinning in the media in recent months trying to talk up recovery from the present recession, with headlines this past week that the recession really is over – based of course on the governments own data. We all trust the government and its advisers don’t we?

However whilst stock exchanges may be starting to fly again, and bankers make like they never nearly crashed the world’s financial systems last year, the reality of the situation may lie somewhere behind the hopeful headlines and spin.

For a more down to earth view check out Will Brown‘s article below, ‘Can China Save The World Economy?’, and come and discuss the topic with him at the bookfair on Saturday (room 2, 4pm). You can also find some interesting articles/links on China here. Meanwhile our friends at East Bristol Debtors Alliance have issued an impassioned plea for the cancellation of all personal debt, because its literally killing a lot of people. They’ll be taking this discussion further on Saturday too (room 1, 12 noon), as well as looking at what we can do locally in solidarity with those who have bailiffs and other debt collecting scum at the door. Continue reading Is the recession really over?