Anarchy in the UK 5. DIY

One of the most positive aspects of the growing Bristol anarchist movement (or ‘scene’ as some prefer to call it) is the fact it is self-sustaining and self-funded. Unlike some groups or projects in some cities, or indeed the whole scene in some places, it is not in any way dependent on the generosity of 1 or 2 well-off people or trust-funds.


Bristol relies on the fact many people freely give their spare time, labour and cash to sustain campaigns and projects. Funds are raised via benefit gigs and club nights, from occassional donations, from fundraising cafes where folks make a donation for their meal, from the free economy, from flogging old Banksy prints to people with too much money, and of course from the proceeds people get from suing the cops for unlawful arrest or assault. Very rarely money is obtained from funding sources, but only with no strings attached, and for specific one-off activities, not where the long-term success of an activity is reliant on any such funding.

Largely as a result of this independence Bristol is able to boast of a large number of groups and projects (see links for example) – from Bristol Indymedia to the Pigeon Print collective; squatted and permanently owned social spaces such as Kebele, The Factory and The Smiling Chair; online radio stations and self-published newsletters and literature; gig organisers, PA’s, bands and DJ’s; a large number of blogs and websites; self-managed green spaces and food-growing initiatives; and of course regular meetings, gatherings, protests and direct actions. All done without leaders or bosses.

Here’s a few upcoming self-organised social events that also raise funds for the movement:

PLUS: Thursday 1 September, from 7.30pm, £3 in: Benefit for Bristol Anarchist Federation war-chest
At The Plough in Easton. Faintest Idea and Roughneck Riot bring their tour to Bristol, come join them and Somerset punkers 51st state for a night of Ska Punk, Celtic Folk Punk, and PunkCiderPunk, get your weekend started early! 

PLUS: Saturday 10th September, from 8pm, £4 in: Benefit for Smiling Chair book & infoshop.
At The Plough in Easton. The Bastard Squad Unplugged present: acoustic ska-core Beng Beng Cocktail from France, acoustic folk-punk The Casual Terrorist from Newcastle, crack-rock-steady acoustic set by Po-Lice from Taunton.

AnarchoSeries no.5, with more to follow…