Disruption at Book Fairs 11

Discussion in 'protest, direct action and demos' started by PeterTCA, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. PeterTCA

    PeterTCA Well-Known Member

    The previous post got so de-railed by gender right and wrongs (some of it little better than the Jeremy Kyle Show) that the basic message gets lost.

    The Cunningham Amendment, as a healing contribution to the aftermath of the London Book fair, sponsored four provincial Book Fairs. Our reasoning was that recovery lay in small provincial events whereby earlier disasters could be avoided. The more local events, organised by more groups, the better.

    Book Fairs, hard thankless projects in themselves, are faced, often at the last minute, from people with demands for inclusion, critiques of the organisers, complaints about lack of publicity and the suitability of the venue. Groups invading an event always demand to enter into "dialogue" and are thus, successful in further disruptions of time and space.

    Truth is that securing city-centre venues is not easy and can come with particular T&C's. If these get breached (as happened at the Peoples History event in Manchester) the venue gets lost.

    As long as we see the movement as a mass movement we leave ourselves open to informers, spycops and a variety of groups content to score points by destroying the event. As was witnessed last Saturday, an otherwise positive event, was disrespected and undermined.

    Disruption is a virus present at all open events and there is a need to set up protective responses.
  2. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Starry Wisdom

    tbh the ira were not a mass movement but were still penetrated by the army, police and informers. it's very difficult to see how - even if it was desirable - that we organise otherwise than an open movement.
    LynnDoyleCooper likes this.
  3. M Testa

    M Testa Well-Known Member

    Red Action were pretty good at keeping out informants and others.
    The39thStep likes this.
  4. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Starry Wisdom

    one major difference between the anarchist milieu and red action is that the anarchist milieu is not a membership organisation.
  5. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.


    I don't think there's been any political organization of note in the UK that's been any good at keeping out informers - or undercover cops.
    Pickman's model likes this.
  6. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    That's fucking nonsense. And roping all those things into the same category is stupid.
    Pickman's model likes this.
  7. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    There's reasons why these events are becoming more problematic to organize and run, but the idea that the root issue is that we're organizing as a 'mass movement' isn't one of them.
    MadeInBedlam and Pickman's model like this.
  8. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Starry Wisdom

    tbh no one's really looked at informers, that's a whole kettle of worms we know nothing about. undercover cops and corporate spies, it'd be somewhat easier for security-minded people to do - peculiar jobs or a reluctance to tell you where they work, coupled with a lack of backstory and an inability to produce friends or family gets my hackles rising but is by no means proof positive.
  9. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Starry Wisdom

    i recall having meetings in wetherspoons and there were tables with more people on than there were in my group :oops: :D one thing we ain't is a mass movement.
  10. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    It's also a much more complex issue to deal with, both in discovery as it's harder to have definitive proof of people passing information for cash or favours as there tends to be no paper trail and obviously they're 'normal activists' generally.

    It's also much harder to deal with when exposed, as it tends to be vulnerable people that do this, either because they're financially in need, the cops have a possible conviction to hold over them, or a family issue such as custody of children pending.

    Given the fact that plenty of people have been approached to do this, and I know of a few have been found out/admitted to it over the years, I suspect the pool of people that have done this is larger than one might initially think.

    But I largely think it's a bit of a red herring and an inevitability of any political group/movement. Strength through size and involvement, not some bonkers secret cell structure.
    Pickman's model likes this.
  11. existentialist

    existentialist The sausages need an explanation

    What happened to "Disruption at Book Fairs 2-10"?
  12. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    Photo-shopped from history. :hmm:
  13. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    Bookfairs have managed for many years through intentional disruption, proper fights, and huge political disagreements and accusations.

    What's changed in the scene/movement that means they're now much more likely to be closed down over this issue (and similar ones) than over previous rows?
  14. chilango

    chilango Neither Westminster nor Brussels....

    My view is we need to be more open.

    Specific, limited, exceptions aside we shouldn't be doing anything deserving of the need to hide.

    We should be making connections between our ideas and people's daily lives. And doing ihis in an open, approachable, reasonable (yes, fucking reasonable!) way.

    Sure that leaves the door open for cops and cranks. But they're in anyway. They need to be outnumbered.
  15. chilango

    chilango Neither Westminster nor Brussels....

    ...and the Bookfairs are probably the closest we get to open and approachable.
    NoXion likes this.
  16. sunnysidedown

    sunnysidedown caput mortuum

    Safe-space absolutism.
  17. Serge Forward

    Serge Forward Well-Known Member

    It's an inward facing anarchist ghetto full of people and groups I'd rather avoid to be honest (though I wouldn't dream of banning them). What passes for an anarchist 'movement' needs to be more outward looking.... dare I say it... looking outwards towards the class rather than gazing at right-on navels.
  18. likesfish

    likesfish an angry pretend soldier shooting at seagulls

    If you haven't booked a slot in good time and agreed to the T&C you don't come in if you don't like it tough.
    some people Just don't play well with others it doesn't matter what you do they will never be happy or be prepared to obey the rules it's a book fair set up by volunteers not their private hugbox either obey or fuck off.
    kenny g likes this.
  19. Magnus McGinty

    Magnus McGinty IdProle

  20. Anton

    Anton Banned Banned

    what if anarchism has no real political solutions to anything?
    what if some of us realised this and realise the ghetto wasnt worth shit
    if the anarchist bookfair collapsed because of a small number of gender activists, then the movement cant be very strong.

    anarchism cannot go to the class because it doesnt have anything to give them.

    we need to get serious and implement anarchist principles by standing in elections.
    anarchists need to form political parties.

    why doesnt the ACG/AFed stand in elections?
    class war were on the right path but were nt serious.

    there is no other way apart from electiions, no other way to go to the people.
    it is just 'punk politics' and utopian fantasy and posturing.

    i propose the formation of an Anarchist political party.
  21. Anton

    Anton Banned Banned

  22. Serge Forward

    Serge Forward Well-Known Member

    Where to start? I won't bite. Just read our (ACG) stuff, have a look at people like Errico Malatesta, various anarcho and council communists for criticisms of parliamentarism. By the way, the fact that the movement isn't strong reflects that the class is very weak. How would standing for election in the boss class political shenannigans help to combat class weakness and dependency on factions of the ruling class?

    Meanwhile, have a look at this quote from the Solidarity group in the 60s.

    Meaningful action, for revolutionaries, is whatever increases the confidence the autonomy, the initiative, the participation, the solidarity, the equalitarian tendencies and the self-activity of the masses and whatever assists in their demystification. Sterile and harmful action is whatever reinforces the passivity of the masses, their apathy, their cynicism, their differentiation through hierarchy, their alienation, their reliance on others to do things for them and the degree to which they can therefore be manipulated by others - even by those allegedly acting on their behalf.
  23. MadeInBedlam

    MadeInBedlam Arm the mentally ill Enforced Holiday

    Is one way of keeping everyone occupied so they don’t throw chairs at each other?
    likesfish likes this.
  24. Anton

    Anton Banned Banned

    I really hope this discussion can somehow be fruitful. I am familiar with Malatesta, and criticisms of parliamentarism, by anarchists as well as leninists of various sorts.

    there are anarchists of different sorts and tendencies, of course, and always have been. I am not sure how you count him, but Noam Chomsky does, at least, advocate voting in elections.

    i would also want to know what you mean:
    "By the way, the fact that the movement isn't strong reflects that the class is very weak."

    this is get out clause. it assumes that anarchists or anarchism is somehow the same as the strength or weakness of a class,
    however that is concieved. ie how do you measure the strenghth of a class? by the number of unionised workers? full employment? wage scale? paid holidays and health care? the number of communist party cadres?

    it seems to me that anarchism is weak because it doesn't have any concrete proposals to deal with the actual issues at the moment.

    ie support the NHS or not? if you do, you are supporting statism.
    Brexit or not? either way the state is involved.
    LGBT rights/transgender etc - state legislation that protects minorities
    etc etc.
    anti racist - hate speech laws, equality legislation etc
    scottish/welsh/catalonia regional independence issues - state is involved. elections are necessary.
    immigration - somehow or another, the state is involved, as are lawyers, access to state benefits and rights, employment etc.
    these things all involve the state and trying to have an influence on state power.

    in effect most anarchist groups are the ultra left wing of social democracy.

    all of these are administered by the state, and it is only thru participitation in elections one can have a voice.

    Anarchists should form political parties and start standing in elections, local council elections. imagine anarchist councillors, an Anarchist MP in the house of commons, even Anarchists in the house of lords.
  25. Serge Forward

    Serge Forward Well-Known Member

    "how do you measure the strenghth of a class? by the number of unionised workers? full employment? wage scale? paid holidays and health care? the number of communist party cadres?"

    I'd measure it by the degree of class consciousness, ie, the ability of our class to see itself as a class, one with a common anti capitalist interest and ready to fight for it; part of the process of becoming revolutionary. We are a long way from such a state of affairs. Electioneering and other stunts may be something to fill your time politically but it's no substitute for spreading revolutionary ideas and trying to build a revolutionary movement (however difficult in current times).

    Anyway, good luck with your project but it's a no from me.
    likesfish likes this.
  26. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Starry Wisdom

    Exec summary: bollocks

    Elections aren't necessary

    Parliament is not necessary

    Indeed elections and parliament stand in the way of anything progressive

    You cannot be an anarchist and hold with parliament, bring as anarchists oppose states and parliament clearly a state body, not to mention the oath to the queen.

    Catch yourself on
  27. Anton

    Anton Banned Banned

    trying to.
    dont take part in elections
    dont stand in parliament
    don't define what you mean by progressive and how the NHS etc is not progressive
    achieve nothing but an anarchist inward looking ghetto?
  28. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Starry Wisdom

    I said nothing about standing in elections

    There is nothing inherently progressive about the NHS just as there is nothing inherently progressive about pensions or social security benefits

    Let's take progressive to mean advancing toward a better society

    It's clear from your posts we're all super naughty and need auld nanny state to take us in hand

    But pretty much all societal advances have come 'from below' rather than being imposed 'from above'. The state is not part of the solution, it's a big part of the problem
  29. Anton

    Anton Banned Banned

  30. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Starry Wisdom

    This isn't Marxism, we don't quote holy writ and take proudhon or bakunin or even auld ian bone as unassailable authorities
    likesfish likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice