Déjà lu: Who are Academics For?

If I were you I’d just read the blog

architectsforsocialhousing

On the weekend of 10-11 June ASH attended the Housing Justice conference being held as part of the ‘Small is Beautiful’ festival in Wales, and for something to read we took Anna Minton’s new book, Big Capital: Who is London For?a copy of which, signed by the author and sent to ASH, had arrived earlier that week.

Reading it, however – and particularly the third chapter on ‘Demolitions’ – was a strange experience, like reading a summary of just about everything ASH has written about and published on our blog over the past two years. That’s not surprising, as we met Anna in 2015, and she and Paul Watt had invited us to publish our October 2015 blog article ‘The London Clearances’ in the special feature of City they were editing on housing activism. I remember Anna had been generous in her appraisal, arguing that this text, which was…

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Radical workers’ bloc at Tolpuddle 2017.

All good clean fun!

Wessex Solidarity

Not a lot to report this year, except a fine weekend catching up with friends – and a big shout out to Les once again for the Wob kitchen.

On Saturday there was a short discussion to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution, which Leninist-apologists continue to identify with the Bolshevik power-grab and its agonising consequences, rather than the bold experiments in workers’ self-management that flourished briefly between February and October 1917. These were part of a revolutionary current that developed spontaneously on every continent in the early years of the last century. It had no need of party games or secretive professional revolutionaries. Your first idea is usually the best one but people have an unfortunate tendency to identify with leaders, especially ones that seem to have come out of nowhere (but have actually been peddling the same ideas for years). Just as they grasp the need to…

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Kontakta album demo

A while back we recorded some tracks down at our rehearsal studio, Planet Sounds. One track is not being released as it’s due to go on an Antifascist benefit. The other usable tracks are now up for your ears on Bandcamp. It’s pay what you want if you want to download it, if you’d like a hard copy with lyrics drop us a line it’ll be about £2 plus postage…..Luke made the cover one lunchtime out of a copy of the S*n he found at work, he’s collaging at a year 3 level already!! Hope you like it anyway, here’s the link
https://kontakta.bandcamp.com

Bristol Anarchist Bookfair Saturday September 16th 2017

Wessex Solidarity

It’s 2017 and the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair Collective has new collective members, a new venue, a new date and some new ideas.

As well as all the usual exciting features of the bookfair such as the amazing range of radical literature and the networking opportunities, this year there is going to be a particular emphasis on workshops and discussions. For this reason we have had to change venue. We needed somewhere with good workshop spaces and while our previous venue has been almost perfect on other ways it doesn’t have this.

Our new venue is smaller and so stalls will be limited. Priority will be given to activist groups that organise using anarchist principles and we would ask that groups campaigning on similar issues consider sharing a stall. The number of book stalls will also be reduced although there will still be a huge range of books. As well as…

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From Solidarity Networks to Class Organisation in Times of Labour Hallucinations

Angry Workers of the World

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Dear sisters and brothers,

Some comrades from Frankfurt got in touch recently, wanting to set up a solidarity network. They approached us with some concrete questions. [1] We want to use the opportunity to reflect more generally on our limited experiences with our solidarity network initiative so far and about the political direction we want to take steps towards. We do this against the current background of post-election ‘Corbyn-mania’ and a surge in political activities focused on the Labour Party. The first part of this text briefly explains our opposition to the focus on electoral activities, whether that be through the Labour machinery or in the more post-modern form of ‘municipalism’ [2] – despite the fact that locally in our area, the election circus had less of an impact, given that most workers here are not allowed to vote anyway. And as an alternative to this electoral turn, the second…

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Political Women: Sandy Rose, Socialist, Feminist, Trade Unionist

lipstick socialist

In this occasional series I ask the question; why do some women become political activists?  Sandy Rose was part of the post war generation that lived at a time of great hope, this is her story………..

sandy

“I was born in 1945 and my parents were very conservative and narrow minded”. Sandy left school at 17  and then worked in a library for a year before going to university at 18.

In order to do a degree she had to  overcome both her parent’s objections and their refusal to make the parental contribution to her state grant. In order to support herself she worked in various jobs,  including  one at the London Zoo.

In 1967  Sandy went to the London School of Economics to do a postgraduate diploma in social administration.  LSE was then  a hotbed of radicalism,  and it was there that Sandy met her future husband, Brian Rose.  “He…

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Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

You’ve been asking for it, here it is:

Ingredients

250g self raising flour
25g soya flour
3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
150g sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
300ml soya milk
125ml sunflower oil
3 tablespoons golden syrup

Get a big bowl, and sieve the self raising flour, soya flour and cocoa powder. Pour the sugar on to the top. Don’t worry about mixing it at this stage.

In a jug dissolve the bicarb of soda in to the soyamilk. Pour the milk mixture into the bowl with the flour (don’t mix it yet) Then pour on the oil and the golden syrup.

Now slowly mix it all together. Mix it so it’s all combined etc, but without overmixing.

Split the mixture between two cake tins and cook in a preheated oven at 170 degrees for 25 minutes. (Fan assisted Ovens should lower the temperature to 160)


If you want to make ‘butter’ icing use 100g dairy free marg, 200g icing sugar, 1 table spoon cocoa powder.

Put the marg in a bowl and beat it until it goes really soft, then pour in the sugar and cocoa powder, and mix it in.

My review of “Struggle or Starve, Working Class Unity in Belfast’s 1932 Outdoor Relief Riots” by Sean Mitchell

lipstick socialist

s or s

“Struggle or Starve” could be an epithet for  UK in 2017  as the government pursues its policy of persecuting the poor. In this new book Sean Mitchell, socialist and founder of Ireland’s People before Profit Party,   reminds us  of an important part of Belfast history when Protestants and Catholics united to oppose a draconian Poor Law. It’s more than just a history book,  as  Sean shows  us that the conditions of the poor in Belfast in the 1930s had a direct relationship with the creation of the  Northern Ireland state in 1920,  and its continued existence today.

Northern Ireland was created as a one party state to enshrine  Protestant hegemony. But as the economic depression took hold after 1929 the position of both Catholics and Protestant workers reached a catastrophic condition of  poverty and hunger. Unlike in  Britain and over the border in the south of Ireland,  the 1834…

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