Bristol Police’s consent failure – and an alternative

front of leaflet

A failure to understand consent and rape culture is nothing new when it comes to police forces around the world. Even by these less than stellar standards handing out a pamphlet entitled ‘R U asking 4 it’ marks a low point. Especially when you consider the recipients were a group of Bristol teenagers attending an educational session on consent.

This was apparently the result of a ‘blunder’ on the part of the police, but it is telling none of the professionals handing the leaflets out realised anything was wrong. It was up to the teenagers present to point out how fucked up it was. Continue reading

Rebellious Weekend in Bristol – Bookfair & May Day !

bookfairThis Saturday see the eighth incarnation of the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair! For those who haven’t been before, it involves over a thousand people listening to talks and participating in workshops from a variety authors, editors, activists, historians and local and nationwide campaign groups. It will cover everything from Mental Health & the NHS, to a world without borders, money and prisons via environmental campaigning and the housing struggle. There will also be an Art Area (and an exhibit straight out of Dismaland), kids space, vegan cafe and over 50 stalls with all the books, badges, T shirts, Patches, zines, guides, papers and information you could want!

Apparently this is what a Labour 'Party' looks like... this Saturday come and see how the Anarchists Party... we promise its far more exciting!

Apparently this is what a Labour ‘Party’ looks like. This Saturday come and see how the Anarchists Party… we promise its far more exciting!

There will also be a fundraising after party hosted with Bristol LadDIYfest kicking off at 7.30pm at the Stag & Hounds and featuring bands and DJs playing Folk, Punk, Hip Hop & Party Anthems.

On Sunday we will be celebrating May Day! The first of May is a to often forgotten celebration of international workers struggles, it is where we can remember those who have fought and died for a better world, and where we can stand in solidarity with each other as we continue that fight today.

This year local Trade Unions have organised a March from Castle Park followed by a rally at Trinity. We will be joining in as part of the Radical Workers Bloc! We need as many people to join us to help bring a message of radical resistance to proceedings – and to help participate in an action we have planned on the day. Just look for the Red & Black flags on the day.  The meeting point is 11.30am in Castle Park, with the march setting off shortly after.

The last May Day radical workers bloc in Bristol

The last May Day radical workers bloc in Bristol

If this isn’t enough for you, there’s also a protest against George Ferguson and the policy of housing shortage and homelessness that he has presided over. Its kicking off outside the Tobacco Factory at 5.30pm on Saturday and marching to college green.

All this after a week that has seen both Library and NHS workers out on strike and demonstrating, and a fortnight that has seen action taken against the flogging off of much-needed council homes.

Rebellion is in the air of Bristol again!

Capitalism, Anarchism & Mental Health

mental health cutA couple of weeks ago we hosted our most popular discussion to date, on the above subject. Somewhere between 150 and 200 people showed up barely squeezing into our emergency ‘bigger than the bookshop’ meeting space. It seems the subject really struck a chord with people.

Our own experiences, and the media, tell us we are in the middle of an ‘epidemic’ of mental health issues. Yet the standard response is to treat and talk about them as if they are solely individual issues (or failings) rather than looking at the situations we find ourselves in and the material conditions and wider culture of day to day society.

Many people present were keen to continue to meet on the subject, to that end we have set up a mailing list (click here to subscribe). What form this new group will take will be decided by its participants – information sharing, mutual support, campaigning and skill sharing were all ideas on the night.

There were some great contributions from AFed folks and from many folks who came, who covered a wide spectrum of society including many people who have issues with their own mental health, study it, work in the field, or have extensive experience supporting others or using services themselves.

For those who are interested the full minutes are online. We hope to compile them into a more easily readable form and into a  video in the near future.

While we’ve got your attention there are a few more events coming up in the near future:

Saturday 5th March: March for the NHS!
Linking the struggles of the Junior Doctors against their unsafe working conditions being forced on them, the removal or bursaries for student nurses, and the moves by the local clinical commisioning group to open up the running of NHS services to tax avoiding corporations!  Meet 1pm at the Fountains. Facebook Event.

Wednesday 9th March: Support the Junior Doctors Strike!
Junior doctors will be holding a 48 hour strike beginning at 8am. Get down to the picket lines for 8 if you can, or join later in the day! Picketlines will once again be at the BRI and Southmead. We all need to support them in their stand against further destruction of the NHS. More info from the British Medical Association.

Tuesday 15th March: Is JC Really our Savior?
The next of our discussion evenings. This time the topic is Jeremy Corbyn and the campaign building around him. How do we, as grass roots activists engage with this? Critical support? Utter indifference? Active involvement? Hydra Books 7pm Facebook Event.

Tuesday 19th of April A world Without Money?
A talk and discussion looking at why our world could and should work without money. It’s often one of the hardest ideas of Anarchist Communist to first get our heads around, as it is so opposed to the way our current society works. The idea that money is essential to a functioning society is constantly re-enforced, but who’s doing the re-enforcing..? Hydra Books 7pm

Saturday 30th April: Bristol Anarchist Bookfair!
Our cities largest radical event is back again at Trinity from 10-6 Website

Sunday 1st May: May Day
International workers day has come around again, this year the local trade unions are organising a march in the centre, and we’ve some fun ideas of our own!

 

 

The assault on Aleppo

A Q&A from Leila Shami who we hosted in Bristol in 2013. Especially relevant for anyone that hasn’t been following what could be the final death blow to the Syrian Revolution & the Free Syrian Army, as implemented by Assad, Russia, Iran & possibly the YPG

Leila's blog

The questions for this interview were written by the authors of Syria: The Stolen Revolution.

2015-04-05-Graffiti-300x169 “We Will Not Leave The Trench Until The Night Is Gone” By the activists of Aleppo, photographed by Barry Abdulattif. Source: The Creative Memory of the Syrian Revolution

We are currently witnessing what looks like the crushing of anti-Assad rebellion forces. The Aleppo battle seems to be a turning point in Syria’s civil war before a general confrontation with ISIS occurs. In your opinion do rebel forces still shelter components of the revolutionary Syrian movement? Or are they nowadays reduced to sunni confessional militias, supported by Turkey and Saudi Arabia?
Anti Assad rebels in north Aleppo are now facing a relentless assault by Russians from the air and an Iranian backed ground force comprised of various sectarian militias. This has transformed their struggle against a fascist regime into a national liberation struggle. The Russian…

View original post 1,818 more words

Trust Doctors, Not Tories – Support the BMA!

'We need all concerned citizens, activists and trade unionists to stand alongside us in this fight.' - Dr Yannis Gourtsoyannis BMA Executive. Read the full call out.

‘We need all concerned citizens, activists and trade unionists to stand alongside us in this fight’ – Dr Yannis Gourtsoyannis BMA Executive. Read the full call out.

On Sunday the union representing Junior doctors, the British Medical Association, held its second march through Bristol ahead of strike action this Wednesday morning. Once again Bristol AFed and scores of other supporters marched with them, and the response from others in the streets was universally positive.

The BMA’s message is simple, the government is attempting to push through ideologically driven changes to their contracts that will negatively affect not only junior doctors but the level of care they are capable of providing.  Junior Doctors can already be called upon to work 70 hour weeks, often in extremely challenging and stressful roles and at nights and weekends. The Tories are seeking not only to cut their pay (whilst they continue to be burdened with an average £100,000 in university debt) but weaken their contracts, forcing unsafe working patterns on essential NHS staff. Continue reading

Discussion: Where next for the anti cuts movement?

anticuts

Our discussion on anarchists and the future of the anti cuts movement will take place 7pm Tuesday 17th of November at Hydra books

 

 

 

We recommend reading the following two articles, although its not required! Anyone looking to fight the cuts or learn more is welcome, whether or not you consider yourself an Anarchist.

Poking a Future Monarch with a Stick
A critical analysis of the anti-cuts movements against the ConDem coalition written by a Bristol AFed member.

A Storm is Coming
An article from one of our friends in SolFed about why the anti-cuts movement is about to kick off again Continue reading

Reclaiming Bristol and fighting back against sexual violence

flyerA report from Octobers Reclaim the Path march from one of our members, and a reminder that Reclaim the Night will be taking place in central Bristol on Friday November the 27th. Contains reference to assault.

The cycle path between Bath and Bristol has seen a lot of sexual violence and harassment over its history. Including several friends of mine who have been attacked by men, with threats of rape. There has also been a lot of street harassment around Easton, including of a  friend who challenged her harassers and was then knocked to the floor and threatened at knife point. Continue reading