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.
Coming at you live and direct from east-central Bristol, just 13 days before the 2015 British General Election & local elections, we are pleased to invite you to the 7th Bristol Anarchist Bookfair – and there wont be a single lying, corrupt, austerity-enforcing, media-spinning politician in sight.
[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.
This 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→
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.
But 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!
The Bookfair Collective has co-ordinated this programme of meetings in the Bookfair Assembly Room. We believe that the topics under discussion encapsulate some (but obviously not all) of the key issues facing ordinary people today, be they political activists or not. It is intended that upto an hour of each meeting will be given over to questions and discussion. Download the programme for the Bookfair Assembly Room as a pdf Assembly room full programme or read on below.
The Assembly Room is on the 1st floor of the Trinity Centre, and will be accessed via the main Stalls room on that floor. It is a large room holding 80+ people, so your assistance is welcomed in starting & ending meetings promptly – please enter/leave quietly! Because of the size of the Room we will be using a small PA.
Our thanks go to all those who agreed to speak, and to the volunteer facilitators.
The Government has sent a clear message to anti-workfare campaigners. Workfare cannot be beaten in the courts.
The recent court case, Reilly and Wilson V the Secretary of State, initially sounded like a huge victory for those opposed to the workfare programme. Yet when the dust settled it soon became clear that it was a hollow victory. Although the judge had ruled the Government had breached their own rules, nothing had really changed. The DWP has moved quickly to change the regulations to comply with the judgement.
It may be possible that some claimants, unjustly sanctioned, will be able to claim a repayment of any lost benefits. Yet, the Government are refusing to pay out until they have exhausted all legal avenues. Even then claimants are again going to face being forced onto schemes that the Government have had to acknowledge don’t actually work. All evidence shows that you are more likely to find work if you don’t waste your time on the work programme.
So what next? If legal methods don’t bring results, then a return to the methods that get results must the order of the day. Direct action, organising and publically shaming those that profit at the expense of the unemployed.
So join the Boycott Workfare for a week of action on 18-24 March against workfare exploiters everywhere. Bristol Solidarity Federation, as part of an on-going and sustained campaign, actively organised with others against Holland and Barrett’s involvement in Workfare. Resulting in the company, who were planning to take on thousands of unpaid workers, abandoning their exploitative plans. Now the Solidarity Federation has now turned its attention to Poundland. Continue reading The fight against workfare goes on→
…tax cuts and maximised profits for the corporate chains …and along the supply chain crap wages & working conditions for the workforce
You don’t have to be an anarchist to note that the ‘contaminated’ products are all based at the cheaper end of the market, mass produced products of dubious quality anyway, for the impoverished masses. Not much sign of products in posh shops and restaurantes requiring examination, wonder why?
Those supply chains, as exposed in the media, are long and complex – so many sub-contractors and middlemen, so much transportation, it’s amazing anyone makes any money at all. No doubt the workforce down that chain makes very little pay for very long hours. Supermarkets and the larger food producers use their economic power to force down supply prices, and therefore quality, as they attempt to dominate the markets and maximise their profits. Continue reading Horsemeat and bullshit for the masses→
A new modern day classic to add to our heritage of angry protest songs! The Austerity Allstars bring you ‘Bugger the bankers’, an easy singalong ditty, not unlike dear old Chumbawamba in their acoustic english rebel folk song phase, but with more knees-up & gusto. Ideal for picket, march, bank occupation, pub, footie match, wherever!
The UK Solidarity Federation have launched an excellent new online information portal dedicated to exposing Universal Jobmatch, a sneaky new online job search (dis)service designed to monitor benefit claimants and ultimately remove them from the jobless figures. The advice website is cunningly called Universal Jobmatch, and is available in English & Polish, with more translations coming soon. Do note that signing up to the job search (dis)service is NOT mandatory, see the website for info and your rights!
Much attention is focused on Athens in Greece this weekend, the location of a mass mobilisation for ‘Anti-fascist Athens‘, and against the Greek fascist party Golden Dawn. A call for international solidarity has resulted in numerous actions around Europe and beyond – in London a protest outside the Greek embassy; in Bristol there is a gathering opposite the Hippodrome from 2pm, along with calls for Greek run bars, cafes & churches to make an explicit anti-fascist statement.
All good, it will be massive! But this is an ongoing campaign in Greece, with anti-fascists and others upping the pace of the campaign in recent months to combat the growth of Golden Dawn, and both the open and shadowy support they receive from the Greek cops and state. The growth of Golden Dawn is based on a simple premise – they oppose the austerity measures forced upon Greek workers by the Greek government at the bidding of the IMF & EU….and blame it all on immigrants. Its a classic fascist tactic of divide and rule in the interests of the ruling elite – as well documented recently by Schnews (do read it!). Street conflicts with Golden Dawn thugs are almost daily occurences (example in Crete), as are murders of non-whites by Golden Dawn and their supporters. Continue reading In Greece they still fightback→