Worshipping Power?

On Tuesday Bristol Anarchist Federation hosted a talk by Peter Gelderloos on the theories in his latest book Worshiping Power: An Anarchist View of Early State Formation.  We packed out Kebele with people eager to hear about it, we certainly weren’t disappointed. Our friends over in Bath also hosted a talk the following day after we got in touch with them, spreading a bit more anarchy to our gentile neighbour.

It is always refreshing to hear history unchained from the often stagnant ideas of mainstream society. However not only did the talk (and book) go into how states first arose, but how they continue to adapt to sustain the power they hold over us. The lessons contained are essential for all of us fighting for a better world – not just the anarchists. One that stuck out most is one of only two characteristics that all states shared upon forming, Patriarchy.  Male domination of both the family and the people that a state would subjugate was universal. It was also actively forced upon societies that were more gender-balanced by imperial powers such as Britain, Spain and France, all seeing it as essential to their control. This is one more nail in the coffin of those who would argue that feminism is any less essential to anarchism than the fight against the state and capitalism.

If you missed it, or if you want a recap, the event hosted by London Anarchist Federation at the Anti-University was recorded here. Continue reading

Never Mind the Ballots: Eight Upcoming Radical Protests & Events

While most eyes seemed to be focused solely on the election and our political ‘leaders’, there are a lot of other events coming up to keep the anarchists and radicals of Bristol (and beyond) busy. Some of these are being organised by us, some by our friends and comrades. Others are just ones we’re going to and you should do everything you can to support or attend as well. Whatever your view on the election, make sure it doesn’t get in the way of the real politics!

Upcoming Events:

Dorset Radical Bookfair
Saturday 3rd June
10:30–23:00
Portfield Community Hall

Dorset’s first ever Radical Bookfair is happening this Saturday! There will be stalls, talks covering a range of topics (including two from us on ‘Capitalism, Anarchism & Mental Health’ and ‘Revolutionary Women’), and films on anarchism, rebellion, and the revolution. And it’s free entry!
To find out more, check out their Facebook event.

 

Hartcliffe Protest! Re-open the Rent Offices!
Saturday 3rd June
11:00-12:00
Symes House

Come on down to Hartcliff on Saturday to stand with residents as they protest the cuts their community has had to face and the closure of council facilities at Symes House. These are cuts we’re facing all over the city, so even if you don’t live in Hartcliff, go on down and show your support. Facebook event.

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Essential Online Security: An Anarchist’s Guide for Everyone!

The following is our long-awaited written introduction to online security. It follows on from the workshop we did on the subject in April, as part of our Capitalism: A Survival Guide series. We hope to produce more of these guides, and show how meeting our basic needs feeds in to the revolutionary struggle to kill capitalism before it kills us.

Sometimes it can feel like Ron Swanson has the only sensible reaction to the online world, but we do have some other suggestions that allow you to keep your internet connection going.  We’ve included links to short videos, visual guides, and software downloads – all you need to secure yourself online, with no prior knowledge required.

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Capitalism: A Survival Guide

capitalism a survial guide 2 colourEven the most passionate of revolutionaries is forced to admit that, for the moment, capitalism rules the world. While we fight tooth and nail for a truly free society, we’ve still got to survive this one in the mean time. After all, we can’t kill capitalism if it kills us first!

To this end we are hosting a series of workshops that aim to arm us all with the skills and knowledge we need to not only ‘scrape by’ but begin to organise, thrive and fight back. Each one will focus on a different aspect of capitalist society, from dealing with debt or fighting through the bureaucracy of disability benefits to being your own media and discovering if there really is such a thing as a free lunch.

The survival guide workshops will take the place of our usual monthly discussion nights Continue reading

Anarchy in Bath this Weekend

 

Bath demo

Bath Anarchists at a Bedroom Tax demo outside the Guildhall, March 2013

Calling anyone in Bath who is an Anarchist, thinks they might be, or is just Anarcho-Curious. Join the Anarchist Federation and friends on Saturday the 8th of April  re-ignite anarchism in Bath! We’ll be having a freeshop in the centre, followed by a meeting to share schemes and ideas (Facebook event).

Bath, perhaps surprisingly for such an outwardly gentile city, has a solid history of anarchist organisation going at least back to 1925, Continue reading

Bristol named worst place to live due to yet another best place to live award

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How to turn violent rebellion into a marketing tactic in just six short years

Across the city today Bristolians woke up to the latest barrage of ‘journalism’ about how great their city was.   Any initial pride that was felt back in say, 2013, has been replaced by resigned groans and the question: best place to live for who exactly?. We’re not exactly sure who picks where to live due to articles in The Times, but it probably rhymes with ‘annoying prats’.

‘I guess there are lots of those exciting redevelopments‘ said one local woman ‘like how they replaced our local with a bunch of trendy but cramped and expensive flats, and opened up a food bank down the road’.  ‘I thought it meant all those new restaurants, that are supposed to be quirky and original but are just samey and over priced’ interrupted her friend, before rethinking it and adding ‘but that would make all these articles just self congratulating circle jerks on behalf of the rich, and I’m sure that can’t be the case’.

It’s certainly not a celebration of the interesting areas of Bristol grown over the decades by marginalised members of the city’s working class and migrant communities. Those were all here long before the national press decided our city was ‘cool and creative’. Most of the changes we’ve seen lately are related to the ever increasing costs of living and renting. We’re not against nice things for Bristol – but they shouldn’t come at the expense of having to kick out the people that made the place so interesting to begin with.

“It’d be easy just to blame all the people moving here from that London” said one astute Bristolian before continuing “but I guess they’re only here because this is exactly what happened to all the working class areas over there”.

You can read more about the Fight for the City from our friends in the capital, Continue reading

Trump: Symptom, Problem or Distraction? – Discussion night next Tuesday @ Hydra

After a month off for the recent demo against council cuts, our discussion nights are back!

Trump’s election, and his actions since, have seen a massive wave of protest and action across the US to combat his destructive policies.

Many have echoed these protests in the UK and elsewhere, with thousands coming to the streets (some for the first time). However, other than voicing our somewhat vague displeasure, what purpose does this series of protests serve?

Can it be moulded into effective trans-Atlantic solidarity? Serve as a warning to those looking to import Trump-style politics to Europe? More importantly, can it have an impact on the abhorrent racism, misogyny and anti-working class actions of politicians much closer to home?

After all, we may pour scorn on (or laugh at) Trump’s plans to build a ridiculous and expensive wall across his country’s southern border… but our country ALREADY HAS SUCH A WALLContinue reading