The Room with a View meetings @ the Anarchist Bookfair

ballotsFBThe Room with a View at the Bookfair is another of the five spaces at the Trinity Centre where different groups/individuals are contributing workshops. There is an emphasis on sharing information & experiences to generate debate, and interaction is positively encouraged. Remember that none of the speakers are professional politicians – just ordinary impassioned people like you and us – ensuring minimal spin & bullshit! You can see details of all the Bookfair meetings here.

There’s a wide range of topics. Details are below, with some useful links, or you can download this pdf & print RoomwithView_meet details :

The Room With A View
aka The IT Suite, 1st floor of Trinity, accessed from rear of Assembly Room, at top of stairs)
12-1: Introduction to Radical Routes: Radical housing and workers co-ops, and more!
By Radical Routes (workshop & discussion)
An introduction to the Radical Routes network of housing co-ops, workers co-ops and social centres. Radical Routes is based on the principles of mutual aid, consensus decision making and social justice. Find out more about co-operatives and how the organisation works to reclaim power from landlords and bosses.

1-2: The Free Software Movement: what lessons could the anarchist movement learn?
by HaktionLab (Talk & discussion)
The Free Software movement can be said to have begun in 1983 when Richard Stallman launched the GNU project. Since then a global network of projects worked on by individuals and organisations in a largely non-hierarchical fashion has gradually infiltrated the world of proprietary software. It has been subject to successes and failures, been co-opted and has changed the information technology world from within. What parallels are there with the anarchist movement and how does it fit with anarchist philosophy? Are there any lessons to be drawn from the Free Software movement that could be useful in anarchy’s approach to gaining wider acceptance?

2-3: Fuck the Labour Party – we’re anarcho-syndicalists
by Bristol Solidarity Federation (Talk and discussion)
Anarcho-syndicalism developed out of practical reality, with ever-changing tactics, yet based on a set of basic principles. A core idea was the rejection of political reform and Parliamentarianism. We’ll look at two ways the Labour Party fought working-class interests: the Avonmouth dock-strike and unemployed forced-labour camps. With discussion on building revolutionary unionism.

A History of Anarcho-syndicalism is designed to;
– Provide a history of the struggles that led to the emergence of modern anarcho-syndicalism.
– Develop an alternative view of working class history to accepted historical accounts.
– Illustrate the critical role of direct action as an idea and culture.
– Draw out the diversity of working-class ideas and struggle in different countries and contexts.
– Challenge the idea that “there is nothing we can do”.
– Show that struggle can be a liberating experience, and can get real results.

3-4: What the Suffragettes Did For Us
by Bristol Anarchist Federation (Talk and discussion) – more info here (opens as pdf)
Denial of the vote was an insult to women as intelligent, rational human beings. Getting it was a victory largely because of what women achieved through the process of fighting for it – this did more to raise womens’ status & confidence, as public and political people, than the vote ever has.

4-5: The Politics of Solidarity
by Yaz Brien, Humaira Saeed & Mike Upton
Talks and discussion)
Speakers including Yaz Brien (Bristol Queercaf and co-organiser Anti-Racist and Proud Bloc, Bristol Pride), Humaira Saeed (Race Revolt ‘zine) and Mike Upton (Manchester Queer Reading Group) reflect on their involvement in recent anti-racist/queer actions as a way of opening up discussion of the practice and politics of solidarity in our movements.

Note: This workshop follows on from a Radical History Zone event, ‘Cultures of Solidarity in the 1984-1985 Miners’ Strike’ with Diarmaid Kelliher, 2pm, Hydra Books.

5-6: Conspiracy Theories and Camp Dynamics
by No Dash For Gas (Talk and Discussion/Q&A) – background reading
Experienced Anti-Fracking protest camp activists have come up against a lot of conspiracy theories that are homophobic & racist etc. They’ll look through these dangerous myths and consider ways to combat them.