2008 Report, Programme, Gigs & Callout

Bristol Anarchist Bookfair 2008 Archive

This archive is intended to give you, dear reader, a brief flavour of our 2008 bookfair. There is a brief report on the bookfair, followed by a listing of all the stalls present, and workshops that happened, plus a few gigs and subsequent related events. at the end you’ll find the original callout, a press release, and a short piece about anarchism. Enjoy.

Please note: The links in the articles below, and for the groups listed, may not remain correct for ever!

Bristol Bookfair 2008 – a sunny success

Banner on M32 motorway bridge points way to bookfair Bristol’s first anarchist bookfair for 15 years was vibrant affair. We estimate at least 350 people passed through the bookfair during the day. Workshops were generally well attended and thought-provoking, stalls remained busy throughout the day, some stallholders and others complained it was too hot inside, and it wasn’t just the level of political debate they were talking about – the sun shone at last and meant the car park became a useful picnic & socialising area. Kebele’s cafe provided excellent vegan food, and at the end many went off to party at the two bookfair socials. New friends and contacts were made, and old friendships and networks strengthened. Financially the bookfair more than covered its costs with benefit gigs, donations and a door collection on the day. Many thanks to all those who participated in the event and ensured it was a very worthwhile day. You can read comments on the bookfair on Bristol Indymedia here and here. And we still welcome your feedback on the event – use the form here or just email us your comments. Of course such a day can only be a qualified success, if we one day get 35,000 people coming then we’ll really be getting somewhere…but in the meantime if you were enthused by the bookfair there are plenty of interesting events coming up. Check the links on our ‘programme and gigs’ page, the Bristol Indymedia & Kebele Coop websites, and see these dates:

17 October – benefit for Bristol Antifa and Bristol No Borders

18 October – UK & international anarchist bookfair in London

24-26 October – a weekend of meetings, cafes, film showing and benefit gig by Bristol ABC and Bristol No Borders, under the banner of ‘Subvert 2008’

25 October to 2 November – a week of events organised by Bristol Radical History Group

Programme and Gigs

coverOur first Bristol Bookfair for 15 years demonstrates the depth & breadth of anarchist ideas, beliefs and practice. If you want to change Bristol, and the world, for the better, then you have come to the right place. Visit the stalls, ask questions, join in the discussions & games.

The proper printed programme is going to be available on the day but meanwhile here is a PDF with the front and back cover. The rest of the programme info is below. Download the timetable here.

Click here for gig information

Stallholders | Indoor Workshops | Outdoor Workshops


A. In the Foyer:

Bristol Anarchist Bookfair Info-point
Bristol Anarchist Black Crosshttp://bristolabc.wordpress.com/
Bristol Colombia Solidarity Campaignhttp://www.colombiasolidarity.org.uk/
Bristol Friends of AntiFahttp://bristolantifa.org/
Bristol Indymediahttp://www.bristol.indymedia.org/
Bristol No Bordershttp://bristolnoborders.wordpress.com/
Bristol Wirelesshttp://www.bristolwireless.net/
Haven Books for prisonershttp://www.havendistribution.org.uk/
Kebele Infoshop/coophttp://www.kebelecoop.org
Palestine Solidarity Campaign Bristolhttp://www.palestinecampaign.org/
Tangent Books (Bath)http://www.tangentbooks.co.uk/
and one large Free Info stall

B. In the Hall:

Active Distributionhttp://www.activedistribution.org/
AK Presshttp://www.akuk.com/
Anarchist Federation (AF)http://www.afed.org.uk/
Bath Bomb
Bristol Housing Action Movement – housingaction@yahoo.co.uk
Bristol Radical History Grouphttp://www.brh.org.uk/
Bristol Rising Tidehttp://risingtide.org.uk/bristol
Class War Federationhttp://www.londonclasswar.org/
London Coalition Against Poverty (LCAP)http://www.lcap.org.uk/
Mute Maghttp://www.metamute.org/
Natterjack Presshttp://www.natterjackpress.co.uk/
Puppy Pincher Press and Hunt Sabs Assochttp://www.fromdusktildawn.org.uk/ & http://hsa.enviroweb.org/
Project for a Participatory Society-UKhttp://www.ppsuk.org.uk/
Radical Routes (Gloucester)http://www.radicalroutes.org.uk/
Solidarity Federation SWhttp://www.solfed.org.uk/
Smash EDO campaignhttp://www.smashedo.org.uk/

Bookfair Workshops

The following proposed workshops will take place at the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair 2008. They are listed alphabetically by title, for indoor & outdoor workshops, and will last for up to 60 minutes max unless stated otherwise. Where appropriate a website is given for those workshop organisers who do not also have stalls.

A. Indoor Workshops

1. Anarchy sees no borders?
by Bristol NoBorders – Room 8 at 3pm

While anarchists occupy an explicitly anti-state position, some still question if they can picture a world with no borders. How do borders protect the state and serve the interests of capital? How do we move towards a view of a borderless world and freedom of movement for all? (facilitated discussion)

2. DIY independent media distro & print on demand
by Mute Mag – Bar room at 3pm
The More=More Network is a web based system for distributing independent media for sale at local outlets and events. Members can also input contact information about their local area; book shops, meetings, gatherings and share this with everybody to help build the distribution network further. (talk & discussion)

3. Feminist Activism in the UK – network building and action
by Feminist Activist Forum – Bristol activist (http://www.feministactivistforum.org.uk/) – Room 7 at 1pm

In recent years, despite the common cries from the mainstream media that the feminist movement is dead, there has seen a resurgence of radical feminist activism in the UK. This workshop seeks to explore the strategies & locations of feminist activism in the UK right now in order to envision how our networks and actions can be more effective and visible, both at a national and local level.
(talk & discussion)

4. Getting serious about media democracy
by Bristol Indymedia – Room 7 at 11am

The media is dominated by a small group of individuals like Murdoch, and multinational corporations such as Viacom. As a result the predominant tide of media offers a largely homogenous top-down view of the world centred on corporate globalisation and neo-liberal economics. What are the implications for those struggling to present alternative views of the world? How can alternatives be presented to a population that has only known a corporate media? Can we use their media to get our message out or should we concentrate on building our own media?
(talk & discussion)

5. How to get involved in effective resistance against the arms trade
by Smash EDO campaign – Room 8 at 12 noon

Introduction to the Smash EDO Campaign, a Brighton based anti-arms trade campaign aimed at shutting down EDO MBM. Looking at strategies & tactics, aims & problems, and seeking to inspire similar campaigns.
(talk & discussion)

6. Introduction to anarchism
by the Anarchist Federation – Room 8 at 2pm

The history of anarchism and class struggle.
(talk & discussion)

7. Local free newsletters & why we still need them
by Gagged (South Wales) & Bath Bomb (Bath) – Bar room at 2pm

Why we still need local, free, shit-stirring agitational newsletters in this so-called internet age. How to go about producing one, what not to do, and the problems you may face. And why hasn’t Bristol got one these days?
(discussion & skillshare)

8. Nappy free babies and attachment parenting
by some Bath Vegans (eatoutveganbath@yahoo.co.uk) – Bar room at 12 noon

Practical advice on raising children without nappy’s, prams or cots, and how we can resist the branding of our kids and return to a more sustainable and natural process.
(discussion & skillshare)

9. New terrains of struggle
by George Caffentzis (http://www.midnightnotes.org/) – Room 7 at 3pm

From the hydrocarbon commons of Nigeria to the emergence of new housing enclosures in the USA, this hour long talk & discussion will cover US activist & author G Caffentzis years of work investigating new terrains of struggle, and will aim to provide us with tools to critically engage with the emerging food/energy/work crises.
(live webcast from the US, with Q & A)

10. Organising – emptying the masters toolbox
by some Bristol activists – Room 8 at 4pm

Imagine your group with 50 active members. How are you organising yourselves? This is a space to share our different experiences & knowledge of horizontal organising, and build new ideas & experiments in how we can work together creatively to engage more people with radical political action.
(facilitated discussion & skillshare)

11. Palestine Solidarity
by Rowland (Bristol PSC) – Bar room at 1pm

The longest military occupation, greatest number of broken UN resolutions, flagrant disregard for international law, ethnic-cleansing, mass imprisonment. Walls, settlements, land-theft, killings daily, the list goes on in Palestine. Actions that would be condemned elsewhere, but strangely tolerated or worse ignored & under-reported when committed by a western-backed ally in the Middle East. Hear eye-witness reports & find out what you can do in solidarity.
(talk & discussion)

12. Seed Saving: Why and How
by Alex (Bristol Seedswap: http://www.myspace.com/bristolseedswap) – Bar room at 4pm

Why saving seeds is an important part of taking control of our food systems and decreasing reliance on multinational agribusiness. Learn how to save seeds
(practical skillshare + discussion)

13. Taking direct action on climate change
by Bristol Rising Tide – Room 8 at 1pm

Why non-violent direct action? Social change not climate change? Catch the energy from Climate Camp and get active in Bristol. An inspiring and interactive workshop, by Rising Tide – the Bristol contingent of the international network.
(interactive workshop)

14. The politics of mental health
by Solidarity Federation-southwest – Bar room at 11am

A mental health service user and a worker will describe their experiences of a system dominated by psychiatry. The workshop will look at some of the ways that service users & workers have organised independently to challenge this system, and discuss ways of developing a user/worker alliance.
(talk & discussion)

15. The rocky road to a real transition: the Transition Towns movement and what it means for social change
by Alice Cutler – Trapese Collective (http://www.trapese.org) – Room 7 at 4pm

Short presentation about the recent Trapese pamphlet (download from their website) on Transition Towns, followed by a group discussion around the politics of Transition Initiatives, tactics, strategies and how to move forward. Transition Town members are especially welcome.
(talk & discussion)

16. Vision & strategy for anti-capitalists – an introduction to Participatory Economics
by Project for a Participatory Society (PPS-UK) – Room 7 at 12 noon

Presentation on the need for an alternative economic vision to capitalism. An outline of the vision proposed by theorists Albert & Hahnel called Participatory Economics (ParEcon), and implications for current activity.
(talk & discussion)

17. What is direct action casework – and how to use it
by London Coalition Against Poverty (LCAP) – Room 7 at 2pm

LCAP work alongside tenants and homeless people, employing Direct Action Casework, confronting councils to discharge their duties. The tactic was developed to empower residents with advice, knowledge and support, whilst drawing out the directly political nature of their plight and fighting it in those terms. Find out what issues this raises for activists.
(talk & discussion)

18. Why this recession is special and how to survive it
by Will Brown & the World Economy Discussion Group – Room 8 at 11am

An introduction describing the first global capitalist crisis to overwhelm a world economy, which organises 99% of humanity. Can we cope better this time than we did in the 80’s?
(talk & discussion)

19. Wireless & the free software movement
by Bristol Wireless – Foyer area all day

Info about the free software movement and the innovative work of the Bristol Wireless Community Co-op in providing free wireless internet connections. Use free PC’s and get to know Linux, with hands-on practical support.
(info and participation)

>Back to top

B. Outdoor Workshops (in the car park)

1. Anarchy starts at home
by The Laboratory of Futurefull Acts – 1 to 2pm

An active exploration of methods for ridding our minds of the structures we wish to see abolished in the outside world such as ownership and hierarchy. Using discussion, games and re-programming tricks so as to avoid perpetuating negative systems in the groups and structures we create.
(exploratory facilitated discussion – 20 people max, first comers get the places)

2. Bike workshop & advice
by volunteer bike mechanics – 10.30am to 3pm

Hands-on support & advice to help you keep your bike on the road cheaply. Technical & practical info, plus demonstrations. Bring your bike or just come to watch & chat. More details to follow.
(interactive skillshare- 10.30am to 3pm)

3. Direct Action introduction & skillshare
by some Bristol activists – 2 to 3.30pm

Direct action lies at the heart of anarchism and is a tried and tested way of effecting radical social change. Much misunderstood by governments and many activists alike, it offers endless possibilities for creative resistance. This workshop aims to give an introduction to direct action and affinity groups, through a range of exercises and activities.
(participatory workshop – 90 minutes)

4. Musical interludes
Two 30 minute musical interludes of completely unamplified acoustic music. Relax & listen, or join in!
Anarcho Folko – 12.30 to 1pm
Clayton Blizzard – 3.30 to 4pm

5. Regeneration Tour
by a legendary Bristol ex-squatter

Out-priced by yuppie invasions of our ghettos and waterways, we are pushed aside into nightmare existences, so that they can have their Cabot Circus dream. So we express ourselves with passion, sometimes violence, in the margins that they have ignored – no man’s land. A street-art named destruction, would-be Marlon Brando’s.
(participatory tour – you need a bike for this one. Starts 5pm from the car park gates on Gatton Road for a rock n roll ride)

6. Subvertising
by Saint-Just Mob subvertising collective – 4 to 5pm

Introduction to aims & history of the collective in Totterdown over the last 7 years. Plus practical demonstration of how to subvertise, and a look at possible legal implications
(presentation & interactive skillshare)

7. Taiji for health and self-defence
by some Bristol activists – 11am to 12.30pm

As anarchists and activists, we need to learn to fight effectively, and to look after ourselves and the people around us. To kick-start your day, this workshop will cover simple methods and movements that anyone can use, to gain and sustain health and fighting ability.
(participatory workshop – 90 minutes)

>Back to top


Bristol Anarchist Bookfair Fundraiser Vol. 3

Friday 5th September – 8pm start, 4 quid on the door The Porter Butt, London Road, Bath

It’s the Bastard Squad Collective coming at ya…a night of dub, ska and punk:

HEADJAM – London dub rock legends
MORAL DILEMMA – angry Hackney punksters
JESUS BRUISER – Bristol hardcore allotment crust cocktail

Poster & info at http://www.geocities.com/bastardsquadcollective/sept5gig.jpg

Bristol Anarchist Bookfair Fundraiser Vol.4

Monday 8th September – 8pm start, 5 quid on the door The Junction, Stokes Croft, Bristol

The Bastard Squad Collective lighten the mood with…an international anarchic cocktail mix:

SOTATILA – straight-up loud ‘n snotty Finnish hardcore from Austria
RUIDOSA INMUNDICIA – old-school Latino fast-core from Chile
JESUS BRUISER – locally made anarcho-crust cocktail with melodic edge
PHLEGM – music to shit yerself to from Bristol

Poster & info at http://us.share.geocities.com/bastardsquadcollective/sotatila.jpg

Bristol Anarchist Bookfair / Radical History Group Benefit Gig
Saturday 13th September
The Plough, Kilburn St, Easton,
8pm till late.

Bristol No Borders / Antifa Benefit Gig
Friday 17th October
The Attic, Stoke Croft.
for more details see: http://bristolantifa.org

Bristol No Borders / Anarchist Black Cross Benefit Gig
Saturday 25th October
The Junction, Stokes Croft
for more details see: http://www.geocities.com/bastardsquadcollective

Original Bookfair callout

Bristol Anarchist Bookfair Goes Live

Get involved – stalls, meetings, ideas

The Bristol Anarchist Bookfair Collective is delighted to announce the date and location for 2008:
St Werburghs Centre, Horley Rd, Bristol BS2 9TJ
Saturday 13 September, from 10am to 5pm
All welcome – free entry

We hope that this year’s Bookfair will be the first of an annual event, as there has been a 15-year gap in Bristol! We want to attract people from across the south west and into south Wales.

An Anarchist Bookfair is a day of anarchist books, ideas, pamphlets, discussions, merchandise, networking, free info, help & solidarity, games, bike workshops, tools, history, planning, speakers, resistance, and an all day vegan cafe. All the resources you need to reclaim your future.

It is our intention that the Bookfair will be:

  • – A perfect introduction to anarchist ideas & practice for those seeking an alternative to the chaos & greed of capital, the boredom of party politics, the abject failure of centrally controlled state communism, and the unsustainability of present energy consumption.

  • – An excellent opportunity for anarchists old and new to recharge their batteries and reading lists, to catch up with old friends, to sharpen their ideas, and to re-energise their enthusiasm for the struggle for a free world.

  • – And for those who are critical, you are welcome to come along to join the discussions, to air your reservations, and to cut through the myths of anarchism to the reality.


Download Press Release

Bookfair posters & flyers are available to see and download from https://www.bristolanarchistbookfair.org/posters02.html And check out also http://www.myspace.com/bristolanarchistbookfair


Questions, offers of help, donations etc can be directed to us at bristolanarchistbookfair@riseup.net or we can be contacted at our bi-weekly meetings from 6.30 to 8.30pm, at 14 Robertson Rd, Bristol BS5 6JY.

Peace & Freedom!
The Bristol Anarchist Bookfair Collective


Anarchism eh? It’s all free-living, free-loving, free-partying, free-thinking, free from everything isn’t it? Sounds good! But actually no, it’s not just sex & drugs & riot & roll. Behind the confused and misleading public image of anarchists lies a set of ideas, beliefs and dreams worth finding out about.

Anarchism is about mutual aid, solidarity, autonomy, total equality and social change. It’s about class politics, resisting injustice and exploitation, ending hierarchies, and defending the earth we live on. Fighting back hard, and playing hard too. Anarchism emerged as a defined social movement and political theory in the mid-19th century as part of the struggles of the growing European working class. Yet its origins can be traced back centuries to whenever people came together to resist oppression, to whenever people tried to live peacefully in harmony with the environment around them, and indeed to whenever the authorities tried to stop our desire to party and bring some fun into our lives.

If you don’t like one or more of the following then you should come to our Bookfair: bosses, banks, wars, cops, overdevelopment and the loss of common green spaces, inflation, racism, media lies, anti-social crime, the rich & privileged elites, ID cards, cruelty, political parties & politicians, crap public transport.

At the Bookfair you will find: books, ideas, pamphlets, discussions, merchandise, networking, free info, games, tools, bike workshops, help & solidarity, history, planning, speakers, resistance, and a cheap all day cafe. All the resources you’ll need to reclaim your future, and join the struggle for social change.

For an in-depth introduction to, and history of, anarchism please check the on-line Anarchist FAQ at www.anarchistfaq.org.uk or www.anarchismfaq.org

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Saturday May 12th 2018 Taking place at the Black Swan and BASE