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[Sat 28th Oct 2017] London Anarchist Bookfair (London)

Discussion in 'protest, direct action and demos' started by Kate Sharpley, May 30, 2017.

London Anarchist Bookfair
Start Date: Sat 28th Oct 2017 10:00 AM
End Date: Sat 28th Oct 2017 07:00 PM
Time Zone: Europe/London +01:00 BST

Park View School
West Green Road,
London N15 3QR

Posted By: Kate Sharpley

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  1. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model The word of Sin is Restriction

    Ta-ra then
  2. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    As i hinted at the other week in my now deleted post (think only pickman's model may have seen it) a group of people have left the AF over the extended fall out from this - including all surviving founder members - so pretty much any big hitters - and are in the process of forming a new group closer to the original and historical spirit of the the ACF/AF and it's commitment to a class struggle politics. This was always going to happen regardless of the precipitating event i feel. Sad but welcome.

    Resignations from the Anarchist Federation

    We are a significant number of Anarchist Federation members, including all surviving founding members, who resigned from that organisation on 17/12/17.

    This was due to disagreements over the recent political direction of the AF. These disagreements came to a head over the differences in responses to events at the London Anarchist Bookfair in October.

    We disagreed with the statements put out by Edinburgh AF and the ‘Trans Action Faction’. We put forward an alternative statement for discussion which was received with extreme hostility and uncomradely behaviour from a vocal minority. We were no longer able to work in that environment.

    Those of us who have left the AF are re-grouping and re-organising in early 2018. We will focus less on what is essentially a small, vague anarchist sub-culture, but instead, will re-orient towards an outward looking, wider working class politics.
  3. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model The word of Sin is Restriction

    I wish the new group every success
  4. Magnus McGinty

    Magnus McGinty Wh♂️

    Every cloud etc.
  5. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

  6. DJWrongspeed

    DJWrongspeed radio eros

    As a side issue this video is the most compelling life experience I've heard from a woman regarding harassment in light of the all the main stream media's bubble of Hollywood stories. It's a really tough watch. Respect to Helen that she was able to share her experience so honestly.
  7. Tom A

    Tom A Goat among sheep

    To start with, I have little sympathy with those handing out those leaflets other than their right to not have venomous and hypocritical abuse hurled at them. Had those leaflets been distributed at a Labour Party or trade union event I would have hoped the people behind them would have told to cease and desist on pain of being barred from the event, at the very least. They were full of scaremongering about trans issues and were designed to deliberately provoke, and boy did they do just that. In a way having a set framework to deal with breaches of Equality rules actually makes everyone's job a lot easier, as in theory at least, the TERFs would then be swiftly and easily dealt with. Likewise, said framework should in theory also protect people from being dogpiled on for having misguided sympathies with the leafleters (and the appropriate action would have prevented the initial nastiness that led to those misguided sympathies), and all can be dealt with as rationally as possible, and there are higher bodies one has recourse to should things go as pear-shaped as they did at the bookfair. Okay, it may not be straightforward as that in real life, and bureaucracies rarely act on issues raised unless you continuously needle them, but there are procedures in place to ensure things should work out alright in the end, even if it takes a lot of pressure from below to ensure that. For these reasons, I wonder this is why the TERFs targeted the Bookfair in such a manner, because they know they would create much greater outrage rather than just be told to move on. Certainly it has done nothing but to polarise debate and create a "with us or against us" mentality on both sides, which will just further this toxic climate that has been allowed to develop.

    As for the Bookfair, while I respect their stance on allowing diverging opinions, I really do not see how allowing people stirring up shit like this is conducive to anything progressive, and this has not been the first time there has been a huge squabble at the bookfair over some issue that had been allowed to spin out of control, and I shudder at how a society run according to the principles of those attending (and fighting at) the bookfair would work in practice. I have certainly never heard of any of the bunfights that decend into farcical chaos which take frequently take place at the bookfair take place at the Labour Party conference, nor even at some of the larger left parties, even if debate can get extremely heated there. IMO the Bookfair could have taken two choices had it not decided to wash its hands of the whole affair. Firstly it could have moved more towards a "safer spaces" way of handling those wishing to cause problems, the drawbacks of which had been discussed ad nauseum in this thread, and looks like this will be the approach that the successors to the Bookfair Collective will take. Secondly it could come out in a more absolutist freedom of speech for all (bar actual fascists) stance, whereas they make loud disclaimers that people at the bookfair do not have the right to not be offended. However, this kind of free-for-all would be almost certainly be abused, even if it espouses a more "pure" anarchism.

    Finally, I'll respond to what was said back up thread said about the how identity politics seemed to have supplanted class struggle, and how older generations of anarchists struggled to relate to younger ones. At the 2004 Anarchist Bookfair (the only one I ever went to, and to my knowledge, one of the few where there was no bunfights, maybe the usual suspects were all worn out after the London ESF which took place earlier that year), I heard Alice Nutter (who's name would be considered verboten by todays IDpol crowd due to "disablism") of Chumbawamba fame talk about the internal struggle within anarchism (and individual anarchists) in the early 1980s. She explained that up till Thatcher, most anarchists were generally self contained, building their own little communities a la Dial House and Crass. Then Thatcher decided to attack the post-war consensus, the miner's strike happened, and a schism developed between the "lifestyle" anarchists and the "class struggle" anarchists who observed the attacks on the working class and realised that they had to do more than just hide in their communes and pretend this didn't affect them. This in retrospect was a welcome development, however nowadays identity politics is in danger of paralysing any kind of class struggle, inside and outside of anarchism, and in my opinion, anarchism is going to struggle even more to stay relevant to wider working class politics as long as it is mostly associated with latching onto the latest trend in identity politics with scant regard to anyone outside of their echo chamber.
  8. Wilf

    Wilf Scratch a white car - for Christmas!

    I'm clearly a bit out of it as far as anarchism is concerned and am only just starting on this thread - what pleasures await! However, I have a feeling the above will get to the heart of it. :(

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