[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

Location:
Park View School
West Green Road,
London N15 3QR

Posted By: Kate Sharpley

Confirmed Attendees: 0
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  1. andysays

    andysays Defiantly non-premium member

    But then you get the problem of who defines what is statist, and some bunch of hot heads deciding it's them and not the organisers, and the same situation unfolds...
     
  2. Sue

    Sue Well-Known Member

    I'm maybe being a bit dim but I don't understand the bit in bold -- are you saying that saying 'religion is stupid' is racist? :confused:
     
  3. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    Not seen any Trots giving out stuff at the Bookfair for ages. What you describe is pretty much how it has worked so far I think. The issue has never been both so polarizing with significant numbers in both 'camps' as it were, nor so mirrored in a debate going on in wider society though.

    In theory that sounds OK, but then of course outside the definition of this material, who then asks them to leave? The Bookfair collective or a Anarchist Bookfair security team? And if they refuse do you physically remove them, and if so who does that? And where to? Just outside the venue doors, off the grounds completely onto the nearest street? And what if some people disagree and try and intervene to stop it?
     
    frogwoman likes this.
  4. Magnus McGinty

    Magnus McGinty Wh♂️

    How have we gone from the anarchist bookfair to the anti-semitism of Tankies?
     
  5. frogwoman

    frogwoman лягушкая женщина

  6. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    There were people after the Bookfair last year that accused this banner of being racist or colonialist or something like that yeah.

    TBH I can sympathize with that point of view slightly, I can see when there's a really complex mix of religion, culture, and ethnicity (like in much of the world) that banner could be seen as basically saying your culture/ethnicity is stupid.

    I do think it's a shit banner really, and smacks of slightly teenage sloganeering rather than a useful political statement. But of course I don't think it should be 'banned' from the Bookfair. I don't get why we can't just tut and roll our eyes a bit more vigorously.
     
    Thimble Queen likes this.
  7. Sea Star

    Sea Star this is not a tagline

    An attack on somebody else's religion is not the same as leaflets designed to create what is effectively now a "hostile environment" for trans people throughout politics. I would hope that unsubstantiated lies and slogans that are obviously intended to provoke people who may well be anarchists should be challenged. Ideally in a formal way but what if the organisers sided with the leafleters?

    Anyway - I wasn't there, I've seen conflicting accounts of what happened so not getting into it deeper than that.
     
  8. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model One star in sight

    tbh the organisers organise the event and have never said, suggested, implied or in any other way insinuated part of their role was to police or arbitrate over disputes at the bookfair. it is therefore perverse to set them up as you do as people with a role to define things. of course you can pose hypothetical problems and demonise those who might seek to resolve them - terming them 'a bunch of hot heads' suggests that that's the only thing that can happen. if the organisers *did* take on that role there'd be people howling them down. as for a definition of what is statist, i'd suggest that campaigning through parliamentary and constitutional means might reasonably form part of a definition. if people who aren't anarchists turn up at anarchist events seeking to provoke a reaction from other people should anarchists indulge them and let them have their barney? or should they be encouraged - in as comradely a fashion as possible - to go forth and multiply? how do we as a movement maintain a certain level of order at our events - a core question and one to which i don't have the answer. but placing people who have booked the rooms and organised the event in a false position, a position they have not asked for, a position to which they do not pretend, that's utterly unfair. we as a movement have suffered from both TAFKNTs and trans activists using our event as a stage on which to play out their disagreements. it would be preferable that any repetition of this nonsense was resolved by reasoned and comradely debate: but when on the one hand you have trans activists being grossly offensive and TAFKNTs being equally vile to their opponents, you have your bunches of hot heads. it might have been better if both groups had been ejected and enjoined to continue their discussion on ducketts common or chestnuts park. sadly hot heads outside the trans and TAFKNT communities were in short supply on 28 october.
     
  9. andysays

    andysays Defiantly non-premium member

    I'll return to this later when not posting on phone
     
  10. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model One star in sight

    the 'religion is stupid' banner has been around since about 2006, when a run of stickers bearing the same slogan was produced.
     
    LynnDoyleCooper likes this.
  11. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model One star in sight

    i look forward to it
     
  12. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    Class War out then! :p
     
  13. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model One star in sight

    i am not sure that class war have ever suggested pursuing a parliamentary route to ameliorate the effects of proposed legisation. in fact i'm rather sure they haven't.
     
    LynnDoyleCooper likes this.
  14. Sea Star

    Sea Star this is not a tagline

    by 'trans activists' do you mean activists who happen to be trans, and by activist, is that anyone involved in anarchism, or are trans people, by virtue of being trans, and having an opinion about themselves always going to be trans activists? Or do you mean the special use of the term "trans activists" which anti-trans campaigners use to describe any trans person they disagree with? Can a trans activist also be an anarchist, in which case are they a trans activist or just an anarchist who happens to be trans?
     
  15. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    Didn't they stand electoral candidates recently? Anyway, was tongue in cheek, don't want to derail things anymore!
     
    Pickman's model likes this.
  16. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model One star in sight

    yes.
     
    Magnus McGinty likes this.
  17. stethoscope

    stethoscope Well-Known Member

    I do worry though when one of the bookfair responses/call outs said:

    I mean, I want an anarchism that is broadly inclusive, but its anarchist bookfair not a support group or stuffy conference. It doesn't mean that dodgy and inflammatory shit can't still be robustly challenged by self-policing, people told to fuck off if they're being cunts, asked to calm it and discuss it, etc. but lets not go down any route where stuff becomes 'out of bounds' because of a leaflet, banner or a stall that might offend someone (I realise, its difficult to know where lines get drawn here as that varies for everyone).

    I mean, I've seen the leaflets that were handed out, and whilst their content personally touches me, I'd have likely challenged and called it out for what it is should I have been there. It certainly shouldn't have been used against the Bookfair collective as it has, and for them to be expected to police/control what can/can't be discussed, leafletting, etc. Radical politics is fucked otherwise.

    I've encountered people on protests over the years where we had disagreements over stuff but we didn't assess each others intersectionalist credentials on social media first before regarding each other as 'comrades' in a particular action. A bit of give and take, push and shove surely has to prevail?
     
  18. Wilf

    Wilf Meeting few of his KPIs

    This might seem an odd way of putting it but, short of violence and intimidation, I don't particularly care what happens at the event. If it gets to the point of shouting matches again, it does nobody any good and, cliché alert, spoils it for everyone else. You just hope people will have a bit of respect for the event itself.

    My anxieties are more for the organisers having to tip toe round issues, having to take responsibility for other people's bad behaviour. I imagine any future organisers might want to get into dialogue with groups wanting to participate on trans/gra debates. But the horror scenario would be getting drawn into a long running facebook spat, demands that x should be banned etc.

    Sorry, that's like me trying to transfer anxiety onto you at the point you are taking steps to revive the bookfair. :facepalm: Maybe all the organisers can do is put a statement up along the lines of 'we expect participants to take responsibility for their behaviour. Please don't ruin the bookfair'. Anything else drags you into 'policing', responding to demands and the rest.

    Edit: all said much better by Pickman's model and stethoscope .
     
  19. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    WTF is it with this 'unsafe space' thing? Do people just really mean a bit uncomfortable or do they actually mean dangerous?

    If the Bookfair is 'unsafe' how the fuck did they even manage to get there?
     
    emanymton, DJWrongspeed, Bun and 3 others like this.
  20. Sea Star

    Sea Star this is not a tagline

    ok. glad you've cleared that one up then.
     
  21. TopCat

    TopCat Gone away, no forwarding address

    This is simple enough. They get told to stay the fuck away. Leaflet their own conference.
     
    Pickman's model likes this.
  22. frogwoman

    frogwoman лягушкая женщина

    i largely agree with that. but what if someone's handing out fascist leaflets/'national anarchist' shit and claiming they are an anarchist?
    or conspiraloon/beeleyite shit? where do you draw the line? it is an issue to think about, because i have a lot of problems with 'safe spaces' but there are circumstances in which people will have to be ejected.
     
  23. TopCat

    TopCat Gone away, no forwarding address

    You ain't the only arbiter in this life. Your para phrasing is a view along with everyone elses.
     
  24. TopCat

    TopCat Gone away, no forwarding address

    Punch them in the head.
     
  25. TopCat

    TopCat Gone away, no forwarding address

    I paid for those stickers!!!
     
    Pickman's model likes this.
  26. frogwoman

    frogwoman лягушкая женщина

    fantastic.
     
    TopCat and MadeInBedlam like this.
  27. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model One star in sight

    you're a member of the green party and as such not an anarchist. if you have anything to offer in practical terms about how collisions like that under discussion might be prevented, why not share them? i'm seeing a lot of sniping from the sidelines and not a lot of positive engagement.
     
  28. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    Yeah, if you're a Green Party member/activist you're pretty far down the list of who I'm going to listen to about what should and shouldn't be at the Anarchist Bookfair.
     
  29. stethoscope

    stethoscope Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah, not claiming otherwise although I'm sure some of those examples wouldn't be tolerated and stamped upon very quickly. I'm pondering the argument though, that through identity politics and people with otherwise liberal politics being attracted to 'anarchism', has shifted the notion of what's regarded nowadays as offensive and 'unsafe', and what would be held up for rigorous debate (however much you disagree) is met with a 'no platforming' or 'I refuse to even discuss' kind of mentality. It's not an easy line I realise.

    Best example I can think of in the context of this thread is that I've read all manner of rad fem books and theory over the years, pretty polemic. Some of it has really hurt, some of it has challenged my thinking, some of it I thought was batshit. What I try not to do, unless its clearly lacking any convincing argument and is just vitriol and hate for its own sake, is to just write it off and wrap myself up in a cocoon. Again, this isn't alway easy I realise, and times/moments when clearly reading something that could affect deeply isn't wise to do. It's something I've tried to live by though.
     
  30. TopCat

    TopCat Gone away, no forwarding address

    Off the list.
     

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