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.
The 6th annual Bristol Anarchist Bookfair will take place on Saturday 26th April at the Trinity Centre from 11:00AM. Bristol Anarchist Federation will once again have a presence at this year’s bookfair.
As well as our usual stall, where we will have copies of the latest issue of Organise! along with a selection of our pamphlets and other propaganda (hopefully including the new edition of Role of the Revolutionary Organisation hot off the press!), we will be involved in two workshops throughout the day.
The first workshop starting at 12:30PM in the Bookfair Assembly Room on the first floor is called: “Is Bart Simpson an Anarchist?” and hopes to answer some important questions raised by this year’s poster design:
We felt some of Bart Simpson’s calculations on this year’s bookfair poster were at best debatable and at worst problematic. Does Work minus Bosses, or Money minus Bankers really equal anarchy? What do we mean by the term “Work” anyway? And can money really have a role in an Anarchist society?
We’ll also be taking part in the “Solidarity in Bristol” workshop directly after that at 2:00PM with Bristol Solidarity Network, Acorn Bristol, IWW, Bristol SolFed, and Bristol Refugee Rights:
Solidarity is a central idea which we organise round but how does it work in practice – especially across social and political differences? People actively showing solidarity with workers, migrants, claimants, and local and international struggles discuss what has been productive and challenging in their solidarity work.
Members of Bristol Anarchist Federation will be stationed at our stall throughout the day so if you have any questions or just want a chat come and say Hello!
Don’t forget the Bookfair Afterparty this year taking place at The Red Lion in St. George. Confirmed acts so far include Hazel Winter, Public Order Act, MC Amalgam, QELD and Ash Victim. The festivities start at 8:00PM and all proceeds go towards the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair Collective to help them do the same thing again next year!
We hope to see you all there!
The 4th annual Sheffield Anarchist Bookfair took place last Saturday 11th May at the Showroom Workstation. A member of Bristol AFed went to the Bookfair as part of the Kebele Social Centre/Infoshop Collective. This is their personal account of the day:
After a slow start to the day – waking up at 4am and being stuck on the side of the motorway until 9am – we finally arrived at the Sheffield Anarchist Bookfair at around midday. We set up our stall next to Bristol Against Arms Trade (BAAT) and were happy to find ourselves nestled between comrades from Collective Action and The Commune with The Cowley Club Social Centre (from Brighton) and Sheffield IWW opposite us.
Once we’d finished setting up I took some time to look around the other stalls. There were at least 28 stalls at this year’s Anarchist Bookfair. Despite this the Bookfair gave off the impression of a bustling and active movement with lots of people walking between stalls and talking to eachother. This really felt like a local Bookfair and I loved it.