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.
Even 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.
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?
Good news, everyone! Bristol Anarchist Federation has been running its monthly discussion nights for an entire year. Over the past twelve months, we have covered a range of subjects from ‘anarchism and violence’ and ‘revolutionary women’, to ‘mental health under capitalism’ and ‘a world without money’. The talks have been consistently popular, with most meetings seeing about 40 people attending – although, over 200 people showed up for our talk on mental health! We have met lots of new people, some of whom have gotten involved in anarchist organising in Bristol and helped to develop our ideas and actions. Continue reading