Tag Archives: cuts

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.

Bookfair preview: Roy Hutchins does some Heathcote Williams poetry

At the bookfair? You must be having a laugh?

One of the closing events of this years Bookfair on May 7th will be Roy Hutchins performing the poetry of Heathcote Williams – at 5pm in the Large Hall, on Level 5 of Hamilton House. You can catch a sneak preview of him on this video, filmed recently in Brighton. Pay attention at the start and you’ll catch him saying hello to Bristol!

hutchinsRoy’s Bookfair performance has been organised as part of the Radical History Zone by a co-conspirator of the bookfair collective. Here’s the programme notes for the event: Continue reading Bookfair preview: Roy Hutchins does some Heathcote Williams poetry

Anarchists against cuts and the state – what next?

We’ve had our eyes out for a decent public article on this topic since March 26 (see our article). The following article was posted on UK Indymedia on 4 April by an anonymous author about whom we know nothing. Its pretty lucid and addresses a number of key points. We wouldn’t agree with all of it, but its a good start at discussion. Obviously many comrades are discussing this privately, and given some of the actions thats fair enough – activist security is important! However we hope to see more public discussion of these issues at the Bristol bookfair. We’ve added in a few comments, mainly factual, they will start ED and be in italics.

Anarchists Against the Cuts: discussion points after March 26

1. The big question behind this: how do we work as anarchists within a broader anti-cuts struggle? The anti-cuts “movement” is where we need to be, the main front of a class war which is becoming more open and directly confrontational. Rather than merely defending the old welfare state compromise, we can see the crisis as an opportunity to move forwards with radical solutions based on solidarity and mutual aid. But we have a lot of work to do on our analyses and methods if we’re going to be up to the task.

2. March 26 felt like a victory. We outran the police, the streets were ours. We proved that, as Bob Broadhurst said, there is no way the police can guard every building in London. Noise, rage, exhileration. The biggest black bloc London’s seen. And the smartest, with all those lessons learnt from the recent student protests.

3. On the other hand, it certainly wasn’t Trafalgar Square 1990. It wasn’t Greece or Italy or the French banlieues. Nor did it have the youthful wildness of last November when the EMA kids walked out of the schools to join the fighting. Did it seem at least possible that this could be the day that “direct action”, if that’s the term, spread beyond the old hands and new students to “workers and anyone who will stand and fight”? That thousands more from the main march would get infected with our energy and break off into the streets, leaving the TUC bosses looking as stupid as Aaron Porter? That didn’t happen.

On balance: the action on Saturday looks like a consolidation of our progress since Millbank, but not a big push into new territory. Continue reading Anarchists against cuts and the state – what next?

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.

March 26. Here we go!

So, excitement is building for 26 March and the big TUC demo in London against the ConDem Coalition austerity measures, and calling for alternatives such as a more equal distribution of wealth via the tax system. From Bristol it looks like upto 30 coaches are going down, plus many more people going independently.

march-26The TUC are officially shitting themselves. With a vicious budget due on 23 March from millionaire Tory scumbag Osborne that will make clear his intention to make us continue to pay for his class’s crisis, anger is mounting, and who knows what will happen on the 26th? Terrified of actually being seen to do anything that might actually challenge the government, the TUC have got into bed with the Met Police in a big way in an attempt to avoid any blame should they be unable to control the anger of ordinary working people. On the main demo expect a high degree of collaboration between 2-3000 TUC stewards/private security staff and the government’s thugs in uniform. The TUC should be ashamed of themselves, given the cops role in smashing strikes over the last 200 years. Continue reading March 26. Here we go!

Flyer for the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair 2011

Here is the colour flyer we have published for this years Bookfair. We have several thousand of them, and need your help to distro them widely around Bristol and further afield – into workplaces, centres, shops, pubs, cafes, colleges and so on. Get in touch if you want some, or pick some up from Kebele social centre. You can also download images of the colour poster, and pdf’s of some black and white posters, here. Thanks.

flyer_front1 Continue reading Flyer for the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair 2011

Resistance against cuts – Bristol news

A quick round-up of Bristol anti-cuts actions, news & resources, following on from latest protests.

Bristol IWW placard
Bristol IWW placard

Saturday 19 February saw between 200 (BBC figure) and 3000 (organisers figure) attend the Bristol Anti-Cuts Alliance (BADACA) march in Bristol. We’d say there were maybe 1500 there. This was a fairly unadventurous and tame event on a damp overcast morning, and was all over in 75 minutes. However it did attract a wide cross-section of Bristolians and was probably useful in purely outreach terms. But did it present a real threat to the local bosses and politicians, enough to make them abandon cuts? Sadly not.
Good Anti-Cuts Action report on the march, and the subsequent and effective UKUncut Bailout events in Bristol city centre afterwards.
Photos etc posted on Bristol Indymedia of the march. Continue reading Resistance against cuts – Bristol news