Disruption at Book Fairs

Discussion in 'protest, direct action and demos' started by PeterTCA, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. And this Trans debate is revealing as to where we’re actually at in the game. Time is ticking on everything now with the environment etc the WC are being attacked on a massive scale in the UK and yet we’re preoccupied about competing rights for groups under Neo-liberalism and calling each other bigots. All while the life support indicator is flat lining.
  2. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side


  3. You could argue that anarchism is being attacked via this issue, but that doesn’t alter the point that it’s a weak spot that leaves it open to attack.
  4. Riklet

    Riklet procrastinación

    The repeated failing to come up with a coherent approach to take is a symptom of the problem though, maybe.

    It's not like anarchism itself isnt now beset with the same identity politics competing groups. And the trend is very much that of stopping things than starting things, it seems to me.
    Fozzie Bear likes this.
  5. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I think that’s true, but the reasons why it’s a weak spot remain valid. Anarchism’s inclusivity and anti-authoritarianism is both its strength and its weakness.

    The communist in me thinks that some recalibration is overdue though.
    Pickman's model likes this.
  6. q_w_e_r_t_y

    q_w_e_r_t_y Well-Known Member

    I wouldnt go to anarchist bookfairs. Since the kick off with Occupy in 2012, and now this "terf war", I feel like I wouldnt be safe attending them, physically safe probably, but not psychologically safe.

    I am not a radical feminist, I'm a Marxist feminist...so I'm not a TERF by those who use the term accurately, but I am most definately a TERF to those who would use it as a slur. I am becoming frightened at some aspects of the trans movement. I have seen cis women assaulted, hounded online, lost employment, lost reputation, been excluded from their faith community, kicked out of events and suffer the serious emotional illhealth through of this.

    I dont think that "woman" is a synonym for "adult human female". But I knew for damn sure that some of the people who were male assigned at birth who have uttered the magic words "I am a woman" are men. Not all, definitely not all, but a number of them....and that number is growing.

    Who can seriously think that the child murderer Huntley is a woman (and a lesbian no less).
    Who can seriously think that Wolsht is anything other than a creepy man with an unhealthy obsession with children.
    Who can seriously think that Yaniv (who appears to have extensive power over major publishing platforms) is not simply seeking out "acceptable" ways to abuse young girls.

    Back in the 1970s, the Gay Rights movement (as it was then) was infiltrated by the pedophile information network, before finally kicking them to the kerb in the early 80s. Ignoring of the dangers of this organisation, dangers that women had been pointing out to them, cost them dearly. The 80s backlash which conflated gay men and child abusers severely impacted their health, wellbeing and lives, in the face of the AIDS crisis. I believe that there will be a horrible backlash against trans people unless the trans community acts to root out the creepy, rapey cis men in their midst who are piggybacking on their legitimate struggle.

    These are exactly and specifically the type of men that I dont want to be around....ever ....and they are exactly and specifically the men that are now demanding access to those areas designed to keep them the fuck away from us.

    Trans women's boundaries are by definition blurred, there are different modesty rules for female and male children for example. Trans women have used public facilities with men pre-transition. Trans women have not been targetted in the same way by creepy rapey men (they may well have been targetted, but the tactics used to victimise children who are AFAB and AMAB differs). Trans people's creep radar is different....and the transphobia of trans people being seen as freaks leads them to a level of empathy with other AMAB people who are also seen as freaks. Just like in the 1970s Gay Rights movement, many older gay men remembered a frustrated gay youth and wanted the next generation to be proud in their sexuality. But there needs to be an awareness that there are bad men out there, who groom people to accept the unacceptable.

    This conversation needs to start happening urgently in the trans community. Cis women are highlighting it because it is being ignored, and that is taking a massive toll on the feminist community. The feminist community is fighting shitload of issues - universal credit, housing crisis, child poverty, NHS services, WASPI, spycops, gender paygap, metoo, sexual harassment, vaginal mesh, school cuts - all of which disproportionately affect women. This whole thing takes up so so much energy - the endless highlighting of the issues, the hounding, the psychic field hospitals that have to be set up around some women who are taking absolute psychological batterings online....those who disappear never to speak about it again, because speaking is too risky.

    I dont feel safe any more in any environment where the term "TERF" is not seen as hate-speech.

    I dont feel safe writing this.
    Idris2002, A380, keybored and 12 others like this.
  7. smokedout

    smokedout criminal

    And there it is, trans equal paedo, based on one creepy weirdo, one very strange eccentric and an unconfirmed and probably made up tabloid story youve managed to find by searching the worlds media. Interesting how the boundaries keep edging outwards to include the wider LGBT community and kink as well. Are you going to go full loon and claim its all some giant paedo conspiracy next?

    But anyway, there's another thread for this, this thread is for anarchists discussing bookfairs.
    belboid and Threshers_Flail like this.
  8. smokedout

    smokedout criminal

    How safe do you fucking think trans people feel with you lot running round trying to smear us all as paedophiles to anyone who'll listen?

    anyway, other thread, sorry.
    belboid and Threshers_Flail like this.
  9. kabbes

    kabbes "A top 400 poster"

    Did you actually read the post before you went charging into it? Because it literally says the opposite of this.
  10. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    Back to bookfairs then...

    I know it's easy to get stuck on the 'trans issue' that's come up, but if people recall that was only the most antagonistic of the issues at London's Bookfair last year. There were calls to ban the Active Distro 'Religion' banner and demands that the Bookfair change all sorts of things. And at Manchester this year there was a boycott around the lack of wheelchair access.

    So, what to do about the whole package? How does anyone organising a bookfair cope with all these external demands for policing the event?
  11. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Starry Wisdom

    Telling external people to sling their hook might be a start
    Fozzie Bear likes this.
  12. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I think it's worth listening to people who have comradely criticisms, especially if they are offering to help resolve things. Which isn't the same as writing an open letter on a blog with a series of demands.
  13. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    If we had a membership list yeah, but not that easy. Plenty of the people making demands consider themselves/are anarchists. We're suffering from the last 30-40 of being a home for every weird malcontent about.
  14. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    The Bookfair has had demands placed on it to ban people for years and has managed it well, it's only the last few years that it's been so fractious and disruptive at our events.
  15. chilango

    chilango Neither Westminster nor Brussels....


    Self-organising innit?

    Not demanding stuff from "authorities".
    Fozzie Bear likes this.
  16. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    Yeah, that's what's happened so far and it's worked mostly. But it's clear that this is not working now with the shift in people's politics and expectations, so what to do about it? Ignore it, take a clearer political line for clarity, let the warring factions sort it out between themselves, or try and accommodate some things and not others?

    (Actually the answer is probably all of the above at different times.)

    And this isn't just happening at bookfairs, but in social spaces, groups, and meeting all over the place.
  17. smokedout

    smokedout criminal

    Fuck off kabbes, if you want to discuss the latest fantastical smear about paedophile infiltrating transgender then take it to the other thread and let it be exposed for the nasty bigoted shit it is I'm not going to respond to any of this crap further on this thread.

    Or better still fuck off to mumsnet.
    Pickman's model likes this.
  18. kabbes

    kabbes "A top 400 poster"

    How is it a smear?

    And I think they prefer actual mums on mumsnet, so I’ll stay here, ta.
  19. Serge Forward

    Serge Forward Well-Known Member

    Eeee.... I'd forgotten about that little gem... er anti religious stuff is 'racist' smacks of 'colonialism' etc (clearly said by someone who has no clue about the role of missionaries in the forging of empires) :facepalm:
  20. chilango

    chilango Neither Westminster nor Brussels....

    I know I'm a grumpy old fart, but one of the appeals of the anarchist movement back in the day for me was the whole "no demands", DIY ethos that ran thru it.

    This whole culture of making demands on others doesn't really sit right with me. It's like SWSS 2.0.

    But I'm grumbling from my armchair.
    LynnDoyleCooper and Fozzie Bear like this.
  21. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    I agree generally, but I guess one of the problems now is the ethos of 'no demands' over the years is that the bit of no demands/boundaries on the politics of people calling themselves anarchists and coming to anarchist events and spaces has led to a load of people who's idea of anarchist politics is very different to what it has been historically, and is partly the cause of some these problems.
  22. chilango

    chilango Neither Westminster nor Brussels....

    That has been the case as long as I can remember, to a degree.

    But I'm speculating idly here whether it's a) because we're weak right now and/or b)because the Trot style left isn't available as an alternative arena for some of these types any more?
  23. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    Yeah, the Trot left dying was a factor I'd say, but I think mostly it's issues around the historical shift from anarchism being an externally focused antagonistic anti-capitalist and anti-State movement to an inwards looking activist/campaign/general misfit scene, then the increasing general weakness of even that in the last 5 years, the vitriolic rows on the internet spilling over into physical spaces, and of course mixed in there's some actual real issues that need to be dealt with.

    E2A: Just thinking out-loud, none of these are new observations obviously.
    chilango and Serge Forward like this.
  24. Serge Forward

    Serge Forward Well-Known Member

    Back in the day, it was usually a case of "that bunch over there are wank... grumble grumble ignore". These days, people feel duty bound to "no platform" the buggers and anyone who has qualms about such tactics. Also, those often doing the "no platforming" often have pretty dire politics.

    Incidentally, the current notion of "no platform" isn't exactly how I remember it (eg loads of bottles raining down on the Little Driver rather than just being outraged and just shouting over someone).
  25. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Starry Wisdom

    Yeh I'm talking about external ones, which clearly means people who don't consider themselves anarchist.
  26. SpookyFrank

    SpookyFrank We kill the flame

    Wait, so it's the machine that's dying, not the patient?
  27. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    Thanks for giving me my new favorite insult. :thumbs:
  28. Rutita1

    Rutita1 Scum with no integrity, apparently.

    smokedout You are wrong. That isn't what was posted. Stop frothing/attacking and read it again.

    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
  29. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    A guy called Jacob Joyce made the complaint, very publically so no problem naming him here (open letter, much shared social media post) - he's not in any way an anarchist it turns out, on being asked. So no big surprise. A problem is the actions of people with no particular commitments to anarchism and no investment in its success, or care in their actions helping to bring it down. That Jen Isaacson tweet above represents it perfectly.

    But blaming others aside, it shouldnt be so easy for a handful of people to upset the ecosystem to such an extent. What about anarchist/community 'policing'? The trans supporters at the London fair said they were acting in that spirit, and its a fair point. If anyone has thought out ideas on that Id be interested to hear them.

    What is a traditional anarchist response to (potentially violent) disagreements? Anarchist FAQ mentions a book called Returning to the Teachings: Exploring Aboriginal Justice as a source of ideas. God knows. The Anarcho Feminist group set out clear lines and positions, on paper, for their event, but when people wilfully break those guidelines, what happens next? A more open united clear response is needed.
  30. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Starry Wisdom

    I like recalibration, it sounds so much better than purge
    Fozzie Bear likes this.

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