Tag Archives: recession

Austerity is another word for war

In the run up to this years Bookfair we aim to post up a series of articles looking at the most important issues of our time: the ideological nature of the ruling elites attack on the working class (and those who will never work); the worsening economic recession; the inherent crisis of capital; resistance to these attacks; alternative economic ideas; and sources for further information. Our aim is to stimulate understanding of the issues, debate, and of course action.

We kick off with an article by Roy Ratcliffe from the critical-mass blog:

Austerity: Another Word For War
The article equates global austerity to a condition of large-scale ‘war’ by the upholders of the capitalist mode of production – against the rest of society. The article considers two possible lines of resistance and defence which could put ordinary people onto a self-reliant and defensive war footing.

1. The attack is already under way.
Globally, the troops have been prepared, the weapons sharpened, the strategic headquarters of capitalism have been readied, the national command centres have been briefed and the local field marshals are on the alert. In 2013 the previous heavy skirmishes conducted by the financial, economic and political agents of capital, will be intensified into a veritable war against the working classes and the poor.

As usual it’s the bondholders and banksters among the 1% plus who will order an increase in the intensity of the war against the rest of society. Their colleagues in the strategic, decentralised headquarters of IMF, World Bank, Central and national banks, along with their paid mercenaries in national governments and states are planning the tactics and strategy. Their field agents in local governments and law courts are on stand-by – ready to wield the life-threatening armaments – and do their bidding. (Read more…)
Continue reading Austerity is another word for war

New Bristol Mayor as bad as old Council Leaders shocker

New Bristol Mayor Georgie-boy Ferguson has taken less than 2 months in the job to cut Bristol Council’s 2013/14 budget by £35million, and delete over 300 jobs. He promises further cuts over the next 2 financial years totalling £65million minimum, and over 600 more jobs deleted.

What a way to thank your voters eh? At this rate it wont be long before he’s deleted more council jobs than he had votes, given the tiny percentage of Bristolians who actually voted for a mayor in the first place (about 14% of the electorate).

Georgie-boy’s plans have been ripped into by the Bristol Anti-Cuts Alliance (BADACA) in a scathing press release, promising resistance to every cut in jobs and services. They’ve published a full breakdown of his cuts, and are building a list of council events to lobby – so make sure you turn up and support their protests, and any & all actions by workers facing the chop, and organise your own! Tellingly, councillors, unions & workers have complained they only heard about the plans after they were leaked to the media. Morale amongst council workers is at an all-time low after years of cuts and pay freezes. Continue reading New Bristol Mayor as bad as old Council Leaders shocker

Bristol anarchist bookfair 2013

Here we come…
after a year off we’re back for 2013! The Bookfair Collective has switched venues this year to somewhere with more outdoor space, and we’re a little earlier in anticipation of another hot April. Taking the outdoors theme a little further, expect a potential playfull mix of bookfair and fayre. But we remain deadly serious about the politics, we live in dramatic times. There is much to play for. Free up your day and join us for free.
For more bookfair info and stall booking forms see more details here.

From the squatter camps of South Africa

On November 6th: From the squatter camps & shanty towns of South Africa – a rare opportunity to hear first-hand from a black South African grassroots activist, about their daily struggles to sustain a basic existence in the face of state oppression and corporate greed.

Lindela Figlan is a prominent member of Abhlali baseMjondolo (AbM), the Shack Dwellers Movement, that originated largely in the shanty towns and squatter camps on the outskirts of Durban in South Africa around 2005, but is spreading further afield. AbM were invited to send a speaker over for the London Anarchist Bookfair on 27 October. Via a loose network of anarchist bookfair collectives & social centres, a whirlwind 20 day tour was put together, taking Lindela around the UK, and to Bristol on Tuesday 6th November.
Continue reading From the squatter camps of South Africa

In Anarchy We Trust

Bookfairs are Go!
We are up and running for a Bristol Bookfair in 2013, target date early May, if the right venue in the right place is available. We have a new enlarged collective, a mix of old and new people, and plenty of energy. We may go for a Bookfair theme of something like ‘Radical Futures’, because presently things are shit and arent working at all for the majority of us – we all need a future and it wont happen without serious social change.

We ended up taking 2012 off, which is a shame, but you cant force these things if they aren’t meant to be. Looking around us we see society is bleak, with the majority being largely bullied into submission by the rich tiny minority. How can this be? Why is overt opposition and resistance in the UK apparently so low? By encouraging the exchange of ideas and debate about future alternatives, we at the Bookfair collective hope to do our bit to help warm things up in 2013.

If you’d like to get involved and make the 2013 Bookfair happen, then get in touch via bristolanarchistbookfair@riseup.net. There’ll be plenty to do! Continue reading In Anarchy We Trust

7th May on Stokes Croft, Bristol: Anarchism – Big ideas for the new society

Anarchism – Big ideas For A New Society

Hot on the heels of the recent Stokes Croft disturbances, and coming at the end of a week of benefit gigs, meetings and film shows, communal meals and who knows what else…welcome to the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair 2011 – Resistance and Alternatives to Cuts. Continue reading 7th May on Stokes Croft, Bristol: Anarchism – Big ideas for the new society

Oppression, resistance, repression, and resistance

What goes around, comes around. When there is oppression, there is always resistance, and then there’s repression of the resistance. The key is to break the cycle, once and for all.

Unless you’ve been visiting another planet these last few weeks, you’ll be aware of the confrontations in and around Stokes Croft, spilling into the neighbourhoods on either side (see Bristol Indymedia for starters if you have been on Mars). There are numerous local contributory factors that have been discussed at length elsewhere, but what we are seeing, or at least beginning to see, is a classic re-enactment of an ages old power struggle – for control of the streets. It is not a game, it is deadly serious. Lives, liberty and peoples’ futures are at stake. It is not a power struggle the ruling class (that is, those who control the wealth and political system) dare lose, because if they lose once it could be game over for them. They will use every tool at their disposal to win this struggle, all the time, wherever it occurs across Bristol and Britain as a whole. They know if they lose the streets, they are on their way out.

Bloody Revolutions
If you doubt this then look at exactly the same power struggle playing out right now across north Africa and the Middle East/Arab region, and to an extent on the fringes of Europe (Greece for example). Clearly there the struggle is at a heightened level and far more generalised across each specific country, but it is the same struggle. You can see clearly the lengths the dictators and oppressive regimes there will go to in order to maintain power and control of the streets – sending in armed forces, killing people, throwing them into prison to face rape, torture and humilitation, and death. Continue reading Oppression, resistance, repression, and resistance

The Party Leaders debate – Clegg returns one year on

Anyone remember the 3 party leaders coming to Bristol, for the last of their 3 televised debates? After much hush hush, and leaked info, it was at the Arnolfini. 3-400 Bristolians turned up to protest, the cops erected a ring of steel around, but the chants of ‘scum, scum, scum’ directed at them across the harbour could still be heard.

The date was Thursday 22 April. Exactly one year ago last Thursday. We can all remember what happened last Thursday can’t we – the cops and council acted to defend their corporate friend Tescos (and a lot of Bristolians protested). Just as one year before they bent over backwards to defend a system they do so nicely out of (and a lot of Bristolians protested).

A year ago Clegg was the media darling, couldn’t put a foot wrong, the most popular politician around. Cameron was smooth, a bit plastic & twitchy, but thought he had it sewn up. Brown was on his way out. One year later how the mighty have fallen.
nevertrustpolitician_stickCleggthe most unpopular person in Britain, a yellow Tory, leader of a bankrupt and dying party. He lied, on VAT, on Uni fees, and he’ll keep on lying.
Cameronin the running for second most unpopular person, another outright liar, on EMA, the NHS, benefits, the economy, on we’re all in it together. His millionaire cabinet members are not. The ConDem coalition only has one policy – to make us keep paying for their capitalist crisis.
Brown, gone. Millibrands NewLabour no better, spineless, nothing new said or done. Still pro-cuts, no alternatives at all.
And still the cheeky bastards expect you to vote for them next week, on May 5th. Elections, what a joke. Continue reading The Party Leaders debate – Clegg returns one year on

Full programme for the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair

The full programme for this years Bookfair has been layed out and 1500 copies printed. A few copies are being distributed around town. You can read the programme online as a pdf, and print your own copy:
Full programme (1.6MB pdf) – 2011_programme

The programme lists the huge array of stalls, and the details of the 34 debates, discussions and workshops covering most of the current hot topics. There are also events discussing anarchist ideas and practices, alongside talks and films about radical history over the last 100 years. You can find more details of the events, and other pdfs to download, on this page.

capitalism only works for a tiny minority
capitalism only works for a tiny minority

We’d like to thank the local police force, and Bristol city council, for demonstrating so clearly to us all their cosy relationship with big business over the Tescos affair. The state plays a key role in a capitalist society, and has a mutually beneficial relationship with the desire of global capital to maximise its profits. It will never willingingly stand in the way of large corporations doing whatever they want to do. The ongoing Tescos affair in Stokes Croft clearly demonstrates this historic relationship, and helps explain why anarchists oppose both capital and the state. Get along on 7 May and find out more.

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.