Anarchy in the Sticks, and the Smoke, take your pick.


No sooner had we announced our Fourth Dorset Radical Bookfair 11:00 to 17:00 on 7th October 2023, than Anarchist Bookfair in London.declared for the same date.

This was both unintentional and unavoidable, it turns out for both groups this was the only date we could get this year. We in no way wish to be seen as rival events and we won’t be competing for stalls or punters. Instead we shall be collaborating as far as possible to offer you a choice.

Travel is expensive and we believe in decentralisation so we urge everyone to attend whichever is most convenient and interesting to them. We remain as we began, a small local get-together for workers and activists to discuss issues of importance to them, locally and globally.

This year we are back in Bournemouth, at the Bad Hand Coffee warehouse just off the Triangle, a stone’s throw from the sea and the town centre. Free entry to the public, with kids’ area and Vegan food for donations all day.

Setup from 10 a.m. Stalls will be £20 per table, we have to hire them this time. We welcome suggestions for talks and workshops and we’ve some interesting stuff booked in already

There’s still room for volunteers, send us an e-mail with the subject line ‘Peregrin’ stating what you would or wouldn’t like to do. There are lots of possible roles ranging from physical graft to sitting in a chair minding something, or back room admin and online publicity. Or use the contact form above.

Afterparty with live music wil be at The Four Horsemen Pub just round the corner.

At least there’s no excuse for staying at home!

The DRB Collective.

Stormy Petrel 5 Now Out!

Anarchist Communist Group.

The latest issue of our theoretical journal has just been published. It is available from our shop.

Articles include:

Ecomodernism, Music and capitalism, Brian Morris on the Dark Trinity of Capitalism, the State, and Religion, Workplace Struggles, Mining and resistance, David Graeber, Cuba, and reviews.

Writers are the first line of defence against AI

Progressive International

From the incomparable dialogue of Succession to Ted Lasso’s goofy metaphors, we’ve all delighted in the endless options streaming has provided. But, behind the scenes, it has come at a massive cost.

The streaming business model that has generated millions of hours of entertainment and billions of dollars for Amazon, Netflix and other platforms has sliced away writers’ earnings and degraded their conditions. For many, it has turned their jobs into “gigs” rather than careers

As if the stresses of streaming were not enough, ChatGPT and other versions of generative AI pose new threats for writers, who rightly fear that studios will use AI as another tool to erode their intellectual property rights and job security.

In response, the Writers’ Guild of America, East and West, members of UNI Global Union, proposed basic guardrails to prevent an AI-generated catastrophe, but the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers responded with an inadequate, insulting offer and the two sides are likewise far apart on pay. And so, it’s no surprise that the writers are now on strike to win fair and stable pay. But what might be shocking is how pivotal the fight of these 12,000 union members is for workers across the world.

Indeed, these writers are fighting for all of us. Generative AI models could touch millions of jobs over the next decade. By launching the first strike ever where AI is a key bargaining issue, the WGA are on the frontlines of determining whether workers will share in the benefits of digitalization, or whether generative AI will be yet another tool to drive inequality.

Now is the time to do it. While we are inundated with articles about generative AI, reports of the actual impacts on workers have been few and far between. Most of the predictions are highly speculative, and many predict gradual shifts rather than sudden losses.

The first real world study of generative AI on a large scale was released last month. It analysed the performance of 5,500 call centre workers and found that when generative AI was added into the customer service employees’ work tools, they were able to resolve customer problems 14 per cent faster. But like writers, the workers in the call centre industry worry about where these gains will go. If AI is used as another vice to squeeze increased production from workers — be it more calls or more TV episodes – for less pay, technology is once again a tool for degrading rather than improving work.

But it is possible to imagine an alternative. When AI enhances productivity, the gains must be shared. When AI leads to a reduction in jobs, there must be a just transition for the displaced workers. And the creative product of skilled workers must not be fed into the AI machine without permission and negotiation.

Unions have a long history of fighting and negotiating to ensure shared gains from introduction of new technology – or at least to mitigate excesses. Forty years ago, my job in a jet engine factory was improved by the introduction “numerically controlled” machinery. This technology meant that the job took much less of a toll on my body, and it improved accuracy. More important, we were confident that the change did not undermine job security because that had been negotiated with our union.

Just as automation and robotics upended manufacturing in the 1970s and 1980s, ChatGPT and other generative AI will shift how we work in the services industries. Unlike manufacturing during that period, the service sector, like call centres, is not highly unionized.

But the entertainment industry is. That is why writers are the first line of defence for workers regarding AI. Just as they give life to the characters they create; their strike is giving voice to the millions of workers who want wages with dignity and fair work in a digital era.

Christy Hoffman is the General Secretary of UNI GLOBAL UNION

Photo: Fabebk / Wikimedia Commons

Fredy Perlman

organic radicals

“The Progress of the machine is first of all an unrelenting war against everyone and everything that is not a machine”

Fredy Perlman (1934-1985) was an anarchist author and publisher, the co-founder of Black & Red Books in Detroit, USA, who fiercely and eloquently condemned the modern system of artifice, destruction and exploitation.

Describing the system’s historical emergence, he wrote: “By undergoing what will be called Industrial and Technological Revolutions, the Great Artifice breaches all walls, storms victoriously through every natural and human barrier, increasing its velocity at every turn”. (1)

“Lush forests and prairies are reduced to plowed fields. Entire populations of animals, sometimes whole species, are exterminated. Human communities are gunned down and broken up, their last remnants deported to concentration camps”. (2)

“The Progress of the machine is first of all an unrelenting war against everyone and everything that is not a machine”. (3) “Death is always on the side of the machines”. (4)

Perlman was inspired by organic radical William Blake, even using his art to illustrate his own work, translated Guy Debord’s La Société du spectacle into English and influenced the green anarchism of John Zerzan.

Combining cultural and economic analysis, he showed the way that power and money had progressively gained a stranglehold over our world.

He identified this malignant force as being behind the rise of nation-states and the associated idea of nationalism.

Perlman argued: “Nationalism is the opposite of imperialism only in the realm of definitions. In practice, nationalism was a methodology for conducting the empire of capital”. (5)

The end result was thus “seemingly-independent repressive nation-states invisibly but indissolubly interlocked by the tentacles of bankers and merchants”. (6)

People within this global system accepted money as an equivalent for life and therefore the “sale of living activity”, paid labour, became a condition for their survival, he said. “Daily activity takes the form of universal prostitution”. (7)

They therefore lost, or rather were robbed of, nearly everything that once gave context and meaning to human life.

“The increasingly numerous urban

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In Memory of Dmitry Petrov An Incomplete Biography and Translation of His Work


On April 19, 2023, three anarchists were killed in battle near Bakhmut: an American named Cooper Andrews, an Irishman named Finbar Cafferkey, and a Russian named Dmitry Petrov, known to us until then as Ilya Leshy. People in our networks have shared undertakings with all three of these comrades over the years.

You can read about Cooper’s motivations in his own words here and consult a eulogy from his comrades here. You can learn about Finbar’s lifelong activism here, read an interview with him here, and listen to a song of his here. In the following eulogy, we explore the life of Dmitry Petrov, who also went by the noms de guerre Ilya Leshy and Fil Kuznetsov. For background, you should start by reading the statements from his comrades in the Anarcho-Communist Combat Organization, the Resistance Committee, and Solidarity Collectives, as well as Dmitry’s statement from beyond the grave, all of which are available here.

A few weeks before the war began, Dmitry participated in an interview that we included in our coverage of the unfolding situation. On the first day of the Russian invasion, under what must have been challenging conditions, Dmitry took time to speak with us about how anarchists were responding. Throughout our exchanges over the following year, we were impressed by his humility, the earnestness with which he approached his efforts, and his sincere desire for critique.1

When Dmitry was killed, his comrades revealed that he had been involved in some of the most significant anarchist initiatives in 21st-century Russia, including co-founding the Anarcho-Communist Combat Organization. Here, we will provide an overview of his efforts as a snapshot of the past two decades of struggle in the post-Soviet world, concluding with a translation of his text, The Mission of Anarchism in the Modern World.

No one in our collective believes that state militarism can bring about the world we desire to live in. We are internally divided over the issue of anarchists participating in military resistance to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Some of us believe that serving in a state military formation can never advance the anarchist cause. Others believe that the decision to do so can only be understood in view of the brutal autocracy that prevails in Russia, in which committed anarchists like Dmitry had tried virtually every other approach. If we reject state militarism, it is an open question how else to respond to imperialist invasions—and we will be better equipped to approach that question if we understand the life trajectory of Russian anarchists like Dmitry. For a discussion of the complexities of formulating an anarchist anti-war strategy that does not effectively cede the field to state militarism, you could begin here.

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Kath Grant; Journalist and Trade Unionist

lipstick socialist

Reinstate Phil Turner - Rotherham Advertiser demo(1)
Kath with Phil Turner at Rotherham Advertiser dispute 2015

Kath is from a Lancashire radical working-class tradition. Born in Rochdale in 1950, she spent her first five years living with her parents and grandfather in “The Mount”, the Irish area in the centre of the town. Her grandparents were Irish and Scottish.

Her parents were active in the trade unions in the factories and mills in the town. Her mother, Annie, took part in the cotton strikes of the 1930s. Her father, Jim, was blacklisted as a union activist in the 1930s and had to leave the town and go south to get work. Sympathetic to communist politics he did not join the British Army until the Soviet Union joined in the war in 1941. Posted to Europe he was part of the liberation forces at the Belsen concentration camp – something he never spoke about.

After returning to Rochdale…

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Dublin Anarchist Bookfair Saturday 20 May 2023

Irish Anarchist Network

The Dublin Anarchist Bookfair takes place on Saturday 20 May 2023 at the Teachers Club, 36 Parnell Square, Dublin 1.

The bookfair will be set up in a large room in which you can browse radical books and campaign stalls.

Additionally, we have two meeting rooms and throughout the day you can attend talks and workshops. Currently the line up is:

Organising from Below

Against Fortress Europe
Gender & Anarchism
Anti Imperialism
Building for Anarchism
Panel with Ruth Kinna and Nick Heath

My Anarchist Inspiration

Disability Panel
Climate Action
With: Save Our Sperrins – Save Leitrim – Slí Eile / Climate Camp Ireland – Not Here Not Anywhere
Prisoner writing workshop

My review of “Where are the Elephants” by Leon Rosselson

lipstick socialist

Leon R

Leon Rosselson has been writing and performing songs for over sixty years. In this memoir we find out about the man, his motivation for his songs and his views on society and politics today.

Born into a London Jewish family, Leon breathed in the communist politics of his parents and community. From this experience he developed his own views of the world and used the art of song writing to tell stories and join with other people in struggles.

“From my childhood into my teenage years I seem to have followed a song trail leading almost inevitably to a place and time when I would be writing songs.”

Leon never joined the Communist Party but, in his youth, he joined the London Youth Choir which was a left-wing organisation. With them he travelled to the Soviet Union and took part in their alternative to Eurovision; the World Youth Festival.


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Are You Worthy? – The Script, from Grant Sharkey

Catch Grant’s solo act at our bookfair afterparty. 7th October 2023 7p.m. to late.
The Four Horsemen – 77-79 Commercial Rd, Bournemouth BH2 5RT

Read the words to my musical.

What’s it about? How amazing music is. Festivals and trans-dimensional pyramids. Of course.

Buy on bandcamp shipping out on or around April 29, 2023 £10 GBP or more