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The Room with A View full programme at the 2013 Bristol anarchist bookfair

These are the meetings in The Room with A View, one of the smaller spaces at this years Bookfair. These meetings have been organised by campaign groups and/or individuals, and are intended to generate discussion. Thanks to the meeting organisers for their efforts. You can download this info as a pdf The Room With A View full programme.

The Room with A View (aka the IT suite) is located on the 1st floor of the Trinity Centre, in a room just off the main Stalls room. It will hold approx 25 people seated. Meetings start at 12noon, and end at 6pm. Please enter & leave the room promptly so the next meeting gets its maximum time. Continue reading The Room with A View full programme at the 2013 Bristol anarchist bookfair

Bookfair Assembly Room programme at the 2013 Bookfair

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.

Bookfair Assembly Room Programme
Continue reading Bookfair Assembly Room programme at the 2013 Bookfair

A comment on The Trinity Centre this years venue

This year’s bookfair will be at The Trinity Centre for the first time. In general the response to this change has been positively received. There have however been a very few comments made online that are critical of the fact that Trinity is close to a police station and cctv, and that it rents its carparking spaces to the police. For the avoidance of doubt we state here our view on Trinity.

220px-Holy_Trinity_Lawrence_Hill_BristolThe Trinity Centre rents out carparking space to a number of organisations, including as far as we know civilian employees of the local police force (maybe officers too?). As a community association and registered charity, they like many similar projects are strapped for cash in the current climate, and need to get as much income as they can to survive. Their large carpark is an obvious source of revenue to keep them up and running.

Of course it would be great if places like Trinity were completely independent and self-sufficient, and were not reliant on either state grants or having to rent space out, but currently if they didnt they’d almost certainly close, as they have nearly done on numerous occassions in the past. No doubt they’d love it if loads of people with time on their hands got involved in the place and helped keep it alive and active without having to resort to such revenues. Why not check through their website to see what you can offer to this community-based initiative? Continue reading A comment on The Trinity Centre this years venue

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

The fight against workfare goes on

poundlandThe 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.

SolFed_LogoIt 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.

solfedSo 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

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

Callout for stalls at the 2013 bookfair

Pssst! Would you like hundreds of people coming upto your stall to check out your ideas, literature, campaign, group, merchandise etc? If so you’d better get booked in soon!

At the last Bookfair we had over 40 stalls spread over 65 tables, covering everything from setting up DIY co-ops to workers rights to the ABC of anarchism and hot current international affairs. We’ve got about the same amount of space this time.

Whilst stall priority goes to anarchist groups, projects and distros, there’s always room for a few other worthwhile tables. All the info you need is either on this website, or on the stall booking forms – download one now: booking_stalls2013 (open office) and booking_stalls2013 (pdf). For all stall enquiries email us at    Continue reading Callout for stalls at the 2013 bookfair

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