Anarchy in the Sticks!

Dorset Radical Bookfair.

Anarchy in the Sticks!

A message from the collective – venue required!

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Dear Comrades,

We are still looking for a suitable venue for this year’s event. We’ve held bookfairs in Christchurch, Boscombe and Dorchester so will consider anywhere in the county if:

  • We can hire it for 600 quid or less.
  • It’s got space for 20 plus 6′ tables.
  • At least one separate meeting room, ideally two.
  • Cooking facilities.
  • Disabled access.
  • Car parking.
  • We can hold the afterparty there (outside perhaps) or very close by.

A pretty tall order but let us know if anything comes to mind.

Solid

The DRB Collective.

6th annual Anarchist Book Fair in Amsterdam. 29th – 30th October 2022

We are back for the 6th annual Anarchist Book Fair in Amsterdam! The Book Fair will take place on Saturday the 29th and sunday the 30th of october 2022 at the Dokhuis (Plantage Doklaan 8). It will again be a multiple day event of stands and workshops of anarchist collectives from all around the region. It’s going to be great!

As is becoming clear to everyone, we will be facing a year of economic hardship, geopolitical unrest, rising prices of food and basic necessities and social turbulence. In these conditions it is just as -if not more- important than ever to get together to build viable alternatives to the status quo. The bookfair is an opportunity to learn about political struggles close to home, in history and in other parts of the globe. Let us learn and work together for a world without states, borders, ecocide, capitalism and without the violence that makes it possible. Knowledge is power after all! Are you looking for community, in-depth conversation or like minded individuals or collectives? Come to the Anarchist Book Fair Amsterdam! Are you looking for anarchist books and zines? We’ll have all that and much more: clothing, buttons, publishers, distro’s, workshops, talks, and vegan food! Come check us out!

More information on attending collectives, stands and workshops as well as logistics for the days themselves will be shared soon! Keep an eye out for further information!

Want to help out? We’re still looking for people who want to help volunteer during the event, we are also looking for people or groups that want to run a stand and/or with cool workshop ideas. Excited? Please send us an email!

October 29th and 30th 2022

Plantage Doklaan 8

anarchistbookfairamsterdam@riseup.net

anarchistbookfairamsterdam.blackblogs.org

Instagram: @anarchistbookfairamsterdam

Facebook: Anarchist Bookfair Amsterdam

The Legacy of the St. Imier Congress

Robert Graham's Anarchism Weblog

This September 15th marks the 150th anniversary of the St. Imier Congress in Switzerland, when delegates representing sections of the International Workingmen’s Association reconstituted the International along anti-authoritarian lines, following the expulsion of Michael Bakunin and James Guillaume from the International at the behest of Marx and Engels at the Hague Congress on September 7, 1872. I prepared the following article on the St. Imier Congress and its aftermath for Black Flag Anarchist Review’s Summer 2022 issue on anarchism and the First International. The special conference to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the St. Imier Congress has been postponed to July 2023: www.Anarchy2023.org.

Saint Imier

The St. Imier Congress and the Birth of Revolutionary Anarchism

The September 1872 St. Imier Congress of federalist and anti-authoritarian sections and federations of the International Workingmen’s Association (the “IWMA”), otherwise known as the “First International,” marks a watershed moment in the…

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Book review number 5

TYNESIDE ANARCHIST ARCHIVE

The following review by a friend of ours is due to appear in the forthcoming North East History, which is the journal of the North East Labour History Society.

REVIEW – Anarchism in North East England: 1882-1992

Anarchism as a set of revolutionary ideas and practice has tended not to be taken seriously in the British context by academics. Early historians of the British working-class movement like Robin Page Arnot and a succession of academics like Henry Pelling since have sought to denigrate, ignore or marginalise the astounding intellectual and organisational achievements of, for example, the authors of theMiners’ Next Stepwho, though syndicalists rather than anarchists, were still far too close to the latter for a later generation of orthodox communists. Even the post-war stalwarts of ‘history from below’ reproduced crude caricatures of anarchism and its adherents; see, for examples, Thompson’s depiction of Socialist League anarchists in…

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My review of Liverpool Dockers A History of Rebellion and Betrayal by Mike Carden

lipstick socialist

This book  is about Liverpool, about dockers, about their families and communities. It is also about democracy, trade unions and the Labour Party. It is about the past and  the present.

Mike Carden was one of the key players in the Liverpool dock strike of 1995 and in this new, inspiring,  and at times very depressing book he has a lot to say about the state of democracy in this country today and how we got to such a situation.

In 1995 I was one of the people inspired by the Liverpool dock strike. From a working class Irish background with dockers in my family I was part of that working class tradition that  believed and saw trade unions (not the Labour Party) as  the way in which  would deliver (and did deliver) a better standard of living, a better society  for me, my family and my class.

Unfortunately by…

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Canada: A look back at the Chicoutimi launch of the Anarchist Children’s Dictionary

Last Saturday, the Children’s Anarchist Dictionary was launched at the Éco-kartier in downtown Chicoutimi. A dozen people, children and adults, took part in an interactive philosophical workshop based on photolanguage. It was a question of associating images representing various things with one of the following 4 concepts: mutual aid, inequalities, freedom and lies. Interesting discussions emerged as to the meaning of each element and concept. The activity ended with the presentation of the definitions proposed in the dictionary for the concepts mentioned, as well as a short chat. Thank you to those present for your interest and participation!

We are currently receiving and taking the time to respond to an influx of emails requesting copies of the book. The best way to get it is really by taking part in the activities and actions of the collective; that’s the whole point of a little educational tool self-produced by an anarchist collective – you won’t find it on Amazon anytime soon and that’s good! Let’s take back the street, the public space, let’s make the common – that’s where you will find our tool. Organize a launch near you and invite us, it is also in the discussions that we share that the little book takes on its meaning. If distances and time do not allow it, there is also a way for us to send you material to lead a launch discussion yourself, after which we will be fond of your feedback. We will still be mailing out soon – contact us atcegsaglac@riseup.net for all the details. By the way, all the comments and anecdotes about how you use the dictionary are cool to read.

Collectif Emma Goldman

Anarchist Zines and Pamphlets Published in July 2022.

Sprout Distro

Anarchist Zines & Pamphlets Published in July 2022

The following zines were published over the last month. We try to cast a wide net with these, so as always, we may not agree with everything contained within. Thanks to those who publish zines, those who print and distribute them, those who read these posts, and those who try to spread anarchy. ❤

You can view past round-ups if you want more reading material. If you have something you want us to include next month, contact us. For a curated collection of zines, view our catalog.

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Anathema, a Philadelphia anarchist periodical: Volume 8 Issue 1, August 2022.

Volume 8 Issue 1

Volume 8 Issue 1 (PDF for reading 8.5×11)

Volume 8 Issue 1 (PDF for printing (11×17)

In this issue:

  • Land & Freedom
  • Munich Raid
  • The Electrification of the World
  • On Hopelessness
  • Situational Awareness
  • Jane’s Revenge
  • The Facts of Art

Book Review: In Defence of Anarchist Communism, by Brian Morris.

Anarchist Communist Group

In Defence of Anarchist Communism. Brian Morris. Freedom Press. £5.00. 142 pages.

This handy little book has just been published. It has its origins in a talk on contemporary anarchism that Brian Morris gave to the Anarchist Communist Group in April 2018 in London, acknowledged in the book. Brian also name checks two members of the ACG for their “encouragement over many years.

As Brian says, he has been defending the “integrity, importance and contemporary relevance of anarchist communism as a historical movement and as a political tradition” for more than 40 years in pamphlets, articles, books and letters.

Brian gives an account of the emergence of anarchist communism as an historical movement and as a distinct political tradition. He outlines the four basic tenets of anarchist communism, as expressed by the likes of Petr Kropotkin and Errico Malatesta. These are 1. A critique and opposition to the State and all forms of hierarchy; 2. A “fervent anti-capitalism; 3. A vision of a free society based on mutual aid, voluntary associations and self-managed communities and 4. A politics grounded in evolutionary naturalism. As he explains, this term refers to an affirmation that the world (reality) consists exclusively of concrete material things, along with their dispositions, qualities, actions and relations with other things. Life, consciousness and human symbolic culture, are, therefore, all emergent properties of material things, and have no independent existence.

Brian then goes on to describe and criticise those radical traditions apart from anarchist communism which seek to challenge global capitalism in varying degrees. He lists these as Stirnerite egoism, individualist anarchism in the form of mutualism, Marxism, religious anarchism, anarcho-primitivism and post-anarchism or post-modern anarchism.

In the third part of the book Brian addresses himself to the post-structuralist critique of anarchist communism. He offers a stout defence against these critiques. He then goes on to detail anarchist communist concepts of power, the human subject and social revolution.

He finishes by discussing the four main political strategies adopted by anarchist communists in order to bring about a social revolution. He calls these insurrectionism, anarcho-syndicalism, libertarian politics and activity within the community, whether neighbourhoods within a city or the local municipality.

By insurrectionism Brian Morris means direct action and the use of protests, strikes, revolts, demonstrations, occupations and riots. In terms of anarcho-syndicalism, he stresses that it is false to set up a radical dichotomy between anarcho-syndicalism (a strategy) and anarchist communism (a political philosophy) as some political theorists have done. As regards libertarian politics, he takes this to mean ideas of municipal action as developed by Murray Bookchin. As regards community activism he cites the ideas of Colin Ward.

There is much that I liked and agreed with in this little book, but also some concepts which I had problems with. Whilst he is able to offer some criticisms of Bookchin, he perhaps does not go far enough. In his final years Bookchin broke with anarchism, regarding it only as the post-left politics of the primitivists, egoists and individualists, and totally ignoring the class struggle anarchist groupings. Brian admits that this is misleading, but seems to let Bookchin off the hook by insisting that his ideas remained libertarian and socialist.

Similarly Brian’s use of the term insurrectionism is confusing, as to many it means the politics of the likes of Alfredo Bonanno, anti-organisational and influenced too much by individualism and gun-toting posturing.

Despite these criticisms, I feel that In Defence of Anarchist Communism is a very valuable book, and one that will hopefully rehabilitate anarchist communism and bring it to the attention of many new readers. As Brian writes: “…it is important to recognise and stress the vitality and continuing relevance of anarchist communism as a political tradition. Like all social movements, anarchist communism is complex, diverse, and ever-changing, open and responding to new events and new ideas…”

BRHG Book Stall at the Bristol Alternative Market 28th August 2022

BRHG will be taking its Book Stall to Trinity Centre on bank holiday Sunday, 28 August, 11am to 4pm, for the all new Bristol Alternative Market.

The Market is described on its FB event as:

A Wonderful new event for Bristol’s Alternative community! An inclusive space for everyone. 80 booked traders set in a gorgeous Gothic community owned venue.

The stalls will cover a diverse range, including:

  • Clothes – new, pre-loved, reworked, vintage
  • Books – radical, gothic, vintage, alternative health, anime, manga, graphic novels
  • Jewellery – handmade, quirky, gothic
  • Household items – gemstones, incense, quirky toiletries
  • Music and work from local artists

BRHG will be tempting visitors with our range of self-published pamphlets and books on Bristol’s radical history, along with some other seditious offerings. Come and find us on the ground floor at Trinity, to the left of the stage. Entry to the Market is free, but donations are welcomed – which will be passed to local charities.

The BRHG stall will also be out and about at a series of events we are organising in Bedminster and south Bristol in September and October – see our Events Diary. Plus on Sunday 25 September we’ll be back at the Exchange on Old Market for the next Bristol Radical Bookfair.