As you’ve probably heard by now, your least-favourite comedy toff has just announced the closure of all licensed premises until further notice. We are unable to proceed with the Angry Workers/T-Bitch/UGH! event on the 3rd April, but we hope to host them all as soon as these sanctions are lifted.
The Angry Workers are self-funding and these cancellations are likely to leave them out of pocket, you can support them by ordering the book.
There are also two online meetings you can join in with, see here. Give it a look and we’ll have something to talk about later in the year.
Rest assured there will be further Love, Anarchy and Solidarity shenanigans at the Four Horsemen pub when it re-opens. Meanwhile we all need to practice the real thing. It should be obvious by now that politicians and bosses can’t get us out of this mess, that, as always, will be down to the long-suffering Working Class.
Capitalism is dying – do not resuscitate!
Graham Linehan, the once-beloved writer of Father Ted and that other one that wasn’t as good as Father Ted but still had its moments, has recently been going about the place complaining about being “silenced” while also using legal threats to silence a piece of writing critical of him. Of course, there’s nothing really new here – it’s been years now since Sara Ahmed first observed that
“These views then get expressed again as if they are being stifled. They get repeated by being presented as prohibited.
Whenever people keep being given a platform to say they have no platform, or whenever people speak endlessly about being silenced, you not only have a performative contradiction; you are witnessing a mechanism of power… The narrative of “being silenced” has become a mechanism for enabling and distributing some forms of expression.“
Similarly, if I had a penny for every time someone proclaiming themselves to be in favour of free speech and against silencing debate used threats of legal action to shut their critics up, then maybe I’d have enough money to start hiring lawyers and trying to shut up everyone I disliked too.
I’m still very sympathetic to the principle that, when someone starts throwing legal threats around to silence criticisms, you should spread and reproduce that criticism as widely as possible, so people can read it and make up their own mind. In that spirit, the offending article is reproduced below, not as a full endorsement of the contents but just to give people the chance to decide what they think of it. If you want to know Linehan’s side of the story, that’s easy enough to find out; similarly, if Linehan can point out exactly which precise claims in the article are provably untrue, I’ll be happy to alter them.
If you’re concerned about the problem of people being “silenced” and prevented from exercising free speech, I would suggest that one good place to start might be by donating to support this blacklisted brewery worker here. And if, like me, you’re a massive fan of Father Ted and quite enjoyed that other one sometimes, and are feeling let down that such a gifted comedic great has descended into acting like a bit of a dick, then at least we can all take comfort in the fact that the guy who wrote the Office has always behaved in an admirably dignified and respectable manner, right?
Popular talk from 2019 Bookfair presented by Paul Haw at The Four Horsemen Pub 77-79 Commercial Rd Bournemouth Dorset BH2 5RT. Suggested donation £4 on the door. 7 for 7:30 p.m. 5th March 2020. Discussion afterwards. facebook event
Paul is a volunteer youth worker, campaigner on LGBTQ+ and disability issues, and Branch Secretary of Dorset IWW.
On the 10th of August we held out first organisation meeting in the heart of London. It was attended by a number of Anarchists from diverse backgrounds with various fields of interest. The majority of whom had decided to help organise the bookfair after reading our launch statement. Our primary order a business was to discuss the nature of the bookfair, tho we have fourteen months to go we wanted to make it clear the foundations on which everything else would be built upon, these are; We want bookfair to be diverse and inclusive; we will make a point of inviting black and minority ethic networks as well as those with a focus on queer identity, sex work and other issues which sometimes take a back foot at these events. […]
Since 2017, we’ve distributed 50,000 stickers proclaiming “Immigrants Welcome.” Now, thanks in part to your support, we have printed 50,000 more copies. You can order them here for the costs of production and delivery alone.
In a time when digital media is the dominant form of communication, we remain passionately committed to print media and other forms of communication that intervene in the offline world. It is catastrophic that massive technology companies control so many of the channels through which we communicate with one another. While we acknowledge the importance of utilizing these channels, we recognize that it puts us in an extremely vulnerable position to depend on state-regulated capitalist institutions for our access to each other.
Already this year, we’ve seen several of our posts removed from social media sites on the pretext
As the left revisits questions of strategy and the role of elections in the path towards socialist transformation, author and veteran activist Tom Wetzel outlines both a critique of the electoral centered path and a strategy for working class power from below.
By Tom Wetzel
Could a shift from capitalism to socialism be brought about through electoral politics? Ever since the origins of the modern socialist left in the late 1800s, many socialists have viewed the politics of parties and elections as a way they can insert themselves into history — forming a core component of their strategy.
In the World War I era the American Socialist Party (SPA) had gained a hundred thousand members and elected more than a thousand government officials — mayors, members of city councils and state legislators. By the mid-20th century “democratic socialism” had been coined as a kind of political brand to refer to the tradition of the socialists oriented to electoral politics as a strategy for social change.
The “democratic socialist” label was partly meant to show their defense of the systems of “representative democracy” and liberal values in western Europe, North America and elsewhere. This was combined with critiques of the repressive and undemocratic nature of the “communist camp” countries of the mid-20th century — the Soviet Union, Castro’s Cuba, Communist China. This defense of “representative democracy” is tied in with their basic strategy of working to gain political power through elections.
Alabama has passed the most restrictive abortion ban in the USA. The ban does not include exceptions for rape and incest with pregnant rape victims forced to carry their pregnancies to term. Doctors who perform the procedure will face up to 99 years in prison.
This follows similar bills passed in Ohio and Mississippi with the only exceptions being to avoid a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother, if the “unborn child has a lethal anomaly and if the woman has an ectopic pregnancy.
The bill doesn’t take effect until November and in the meantime the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has issued a legal challenge to the bill.
In other parts of the U.S where their have been legal challenges their have been some small victories with judges in Utah, Iowa and Kentucky stopping the bills from becoming law.
Thousands have demonstrated against the abortion bill with 500 demonstrations occurring across all 50 states. However the main groups organising these demos, Planned Parenthood, the Women’s March, the National Association For the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL), Pro-Choice America and the ACLU itself, have strong links to the Democratic Party.
The ACLU has a questionable history linked to their unfaltering belief in the freedom of speech, including to their detriment the defence of pro-Nazi and KKK speakers. At times the ACLU has aligned itself and been organised by pro-Soviet supporters of the Communist Party and found itself persecuted for doing so during the Red Scare era.
No one should be told what they can and can’t do with their body by the state.
Anti-abortion law disproportionally affects the working classes – travelling to another state to receive an abortion requires access to transport and money to fund the procedure.
It’s up to the working class to head the resistance for themselves, the working class cannot rely on the Democrats who have ambiguous positions on abortion and will turn their backs the minute they feel the wind is blowing in a different direction. Trump is making anti-abortion a key plank in the forthcoming Presidential campaign, which suggests this attack on women’s rights is the first of many to come. Against this must be advanced the demand for free abortion and free access to contraceptives and birth control.
The “pro-life” right are often the same patriots who are happy to send people as young as 18 years old to fight and die for their country. The same Republican supporters who want to cut what little welfare support there is for mothers and struggling families.
The Yellowhammer Fund exists to provide access to abortions and to build power for women in Alabama. They will be working tirelessly to support as many women as possible before November, when the anti abortion bill may become enshrined in Alabama State Law.
Their website can be found www.yellowhammerfund.org and their twitter is @yellowfund