Elections, Rojava (West Kurdistan), and Cops – the main debates @ the Anarchist Bookfair

FBpage_bannerLgeHere’s the details for the 3 meetings in our largest meeting space at the Bristol anarchist bookfair tomorrow, the Assembly Room, up on the 1st floor at Trinity Centre.

Do come along, have a listen to what the speakers say, and then question or contribute as you wish. Elsewhere in Trinity you’ll find some 59 tables of Stalls, an all day vegan cafe, a kids (with adults) space, the Soap Box outside, 3 more meetings spaces at trinity, and the Radical History Zone down the road at Hydra Bookshop. Enjoy!

The Assembly Room  Meetings
(1st floor at Trinity, at top of stairs leading up from main entrance)

12noon-1.45: Elections – what is the point if the government always gets in?
Debate with Steve Norman (Class War Party), Bonnie (Anarchist Federation) & more TBC + audience discussion

British democracy is failing as the main political parties compete to manage society in the interests of the rich & powerful minority. The system is stacked in favour of a political elite defined by their class, connections and power. More radical grassroots parties cannot compete on a level playing field, and in those rare instances when they do succeed (ie Syriza in Greece), the powerful elites conspire to render the electorates choices redundant and representative democracy a farce.

So is there any point in spending a small fortune to stand radical candidates? Doesn’t it just legitimise a system designed to keep us under control? What alternatives are there to parliamentary democracy? Does our real power exist in our streets & communities, or via the ballot box? Join the debate!

2-3.45: Rojava (West Kurdistan) – experiments in resistance and direct community democracy
Talk & discussion with Zaher Baher (Kurdistan Anarchist Forum & Haringey Solidarity Group) on the current situation; Adil (Bristol) with reflections on historical struggles in Kurdistan.

When the male & female Kurdish fighters in Kobane resisted the barbaric fascists of the Islamic State in northern Syria, the world was inspired to respond, and our attention was grabbed by the brave women on the frontlines, an unusual sight in the region!

News emerged that behind the frontlines in the autonomous regions of Rojava a revolution was underway that embraced both gender equality and non-hierarchical organising. Influenced by anarchist thinkers such as Murray Bookchin, it appears that the Kurdish PKK have abandoned Stalinism in favour of ‘municipal libertarianism’, is it anarchism?

After a lifetime of activity and with an intimate knowledge of the Kurdish struggle, Zaher Baher has spent time in both Iraq & Syria and brings a unique insight to these struggles; whilst Adil reflects on anti-state struggles in the region going back to the 1970’s.

4-5.45: Resisting Repression in the UK Plc
Talks & discussion with Tom Fowler (South Wales Anarchists), Police Spies Out Of Lives (PSOOL) & Bristol Defendant Solidarity (BDS)

Speakers from South Wales Anarchists & PSOOL will give a unique insight into 2 court cases taken against the police over the mis-behaviours of undercover police spies, the ongoing unmasking of these spies, and the emotional & psychological impacts on the activists involved (and in some cases their children), and how they are fighting back.

BDS will follow up with the latest news & resistance from Bristol as the CID task force Operation Rhone harasses the activist community whilst failing to catch anyone in relation to over 100 attacks against capital & the state by ‘persons unknown’.

With a focus on resisting state repression as we slide towards an authoritarian surveillance state, the audience is invited to help consider what can we all do to turn back the blue tide of filth?