In January this year a group of individuals living in Bristol formed the newest branch of the Anarchist Federation.
The AFed is the largest, national, anarchist group in the UK. It is a network of class struggle anarchists who aim to abolish Capitalism and all forms of oppression to create a free and equal society. A society without leaders and bosses, and without wars or environmental destruction.
As a new group Bristol AF are seeking to assist grass-roots anti-capitalist struggle in Bristol and the surrounding area. We wish to express solidarity with workers and those partaking in working-class struggle and direct action to prevent the encroachment of exploitative multinational corporations into every aspect of our lives. We also seek to lend direct support to single issue campaign groups in the region who share our aims, politics and who promote anarchism as a viable alternative to the state system based on capital and power.
Whilst we wish to be a useful part of, and have a great deal of respect for, the local anarchist movement we formed because we are fed up with the narrow minded arrogance, lack of real equality and hidden hierarchies that exist in that same community.
Some people can feel looked down upon by those who have more experience and more knowledge of the anarchist movement, rather than being supported by them; out articulated by those who have been arranging anarchist events and actions for longer than they have rather than being given guidance; out quoted by those who have studied more anarchist literature rather than being taught by them.
We are fed up that class warfare, to many people, no longer means the empowerment of the working class and the fight for a better quality of life but is instead reflected as the actions and sentiments of some elitist individuals in the past and (unfortunately) present who think being working class means living up to the beer swilling, uneducated, uncaring stereotype created by the ruling classes themselves. We hope the formation of the Bristol AFed this year, Bristol IWW and the re-formation of Bristol Class War last year will go some way to altering these perceptions, we can only wait and see.
We are fed up that environmental destruction is being used by green capitalists to further their greed for ever greater profits, rather than being portrayed as one of the many failings of that same system.
We are fed up with those libertarians who have hijacked the anti-capitalist movement for their own power grabbing ends who would inevitably maintain the very hierarchies we should aim to abolish.
We are fed up of the lack of communication and organisation between anarchist groups at times, due to petty nuances in politics, tactics and organisation or even pettier personal grievances. We seek to work through any differences to form a more effective and coherent movement in Bristol, however we remain faithful to the way anarchist communities function “An injury to one is an injury to all” after all.
We are fed up that “Anarchism” is seen by many within the clique as an excuse to spend their benefits on Ketamine and a new string for their dog, paint circled “As” on billboards and think capitalism will just spontaneously collapse. We do not however seek to put ourselves on any form of pedestal of righteousness but seek to engage people in our work.
Bristol AF hopes that through hard work, mutual aid, communication and collaboration with other Anarchist organisations and grass-roots campaign groups that we can over come these problems and that the foundations for social change can be constructed.
We support anarchist campaigns and groups both local, national and international. We hope to erode barriers and borders in all their forms in order to build a cohesive anarchist community working toward social change.
To this end Bristol AF would like to show its support for:
Kebele Social Centre and its collectives
Bristol Space Invaders
All those producing radical, independent and autonomous media whether music, film, paper or web based.
All Bristol’s autonomous spaces, social centres and squats.
All Bristol’s radical grass-roots campaigns against capitalism, fascism, the state, and environmental destruction.
By Bristol Anarchist Federation – Originaly released March 2010
Presently Bristol AF meet monthly on Saturdays at Kebele Social centre, Robertson Road, Easton after brunch (1pm).
For more information contact – firstname.lastname@example.org