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.
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!
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
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.
Upcoming events in Bristol…
Prisoner solidarity is an essential part of any activism or revolutionary action. Prisons rarely, if ever, act as a deterrent to the crimes that can threaten our communities and they are downright counterproductive when its comes to ‘rehabilitation’ further oppressing and alienating people. Meanwhile the rich folks who start wars, exploit workers, destroy the environment or profit from our misery? Highly unlikely they’ll ever see the inside of a cell.
What Prisons do well is help to control the poor, marginalised, desperate, and anyone trying to take a stand and change society. The rate of this repression can vary immensely over time and place. When the state is feeling particularly vicious – or the resistance to it is looking particularly effective – you get widespread arrests and detention, such as Operation Pandora in Spain, and more recently Operation Phoenix in the Czech Republic. Continue reading
Boycott Workfare have called for a week of action against workfare – the infamous government scheme to force benefit claimants to work for free. It has been shown to be corrupt, expensive, illegal and immoral not to mention useless at finding people jobs. It does help line the pockets of the rich though!Previous actions and public pressure have forced dozens of companies and charities to drop out of the scheme, and its about time those still in it were persuaded to rethink their position.
In Bristol there will be a Demonstration and rolling picket of workfare providers around broadmead on Saturday the 23rd meeting at 2pm at the Castle Park bandstand, everyone who opposes the scheme is welcome. See the facebook event.
Anyone who wants to get creative can join us for banner making, placard painting and last minute scheming on Thursday 21st in the Art Room at Kebele Social centre in Easton from 7pm! We have lots of paints and materials but bring some of your own if you can do!
All week there are online blockades of charities using the scheme, see the boycott workfare website for details! If you’re not going to be in Bristol or Bath this weekend get along to one of the other national actions or call your own!
See you in the Streets!
Whether this Sunday you will be recovering from the after party or relaxing with a good book or pamphlet you purchased at the bookfair let Bristol Anarchist Federation take care of the Food & Drink for you.
From midday Kebele Social Centre on Robertson Road, Easton will be open for a big ol’ greasy vegan fry up with more tea and coffee than you can shake a radical news sheet at.
Brunch will be served from 12pm till 2.00pm when we will hand over to another set of volunteers to prepare your dinner, served from 6.30pm onwards.
Proceeds from the Fry-up will be split between Bristol AFed and Kebele.
A wise old woman once said “If I can’t sit around all day doing nothing while people cook food for me and bring me hot cups of coffee, it’s not my revolution.”
She wasn’t wrong, see you there!!!
This Halloween (Sunday 31st October) Bristol Anarchist Federation, Bristol Anarchist Black Cross and friends bring you a free Zombie Film Festival.
DEAD SNOW (Nazi Zombies), La Horde (French Zombies) & Zombieland (Comedy Zombies).
It kicks off as 4pm and goes on till 11pm.
A meal will be served at 6.30pm for just £2.50. Plus expect cakes, popcorn, mulled cider and other goodies for a low low price/donation.
Dress to scare and come down to Keblele Social Centre, 14 Robertson Road, Easton, Bristol, BS5 6JY