Grenfell Action Group

On Tuesday 12th December, bereaved relatives handed in a 16,600-strong petition to 10 Downing Street demanding that an impartial and independent decision-making panel sits alongside the government appointed inquiry chair, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, in leading the Grenfell inquiry. According to the rules that apply to petitions of government 10,000 signatures are enough to elicit a response from the Prime Minister. Unfortunately that response, deliverd on 22nd December, the very eve of christmas, was a resounding and implaccable no to the demands of the Grenfell community.

This leaves us now in a position where we must do it the hard way. We must find 100,000 signatures by 30th May 2018, at which point parliament will consider debating the petition.

Since the petition was submitted to Downing Street it has continued to attract signatures at a regular but slow pace and is now approaching 27,000 signatures. We need the pace to…

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Antifa (2018): New documentary available to watch online

Cautiously pessimistic

Not to be confused with last year’s similarly-titled The Antifascists, Antifa is a half-hour film, mainly focused on recent antifascist struggles in the US, but with a brief look at the UK and Germany for some historical context. As a brief content warning, it includes some footage from the immediate aftermath of the car attack in Charlottesville where Heather Heyer lost her life, so if you feel that you don’t need to watch that kind of footage, you can skip from about 25:20 to 26:20.

As ever, these films are most interesting when watched and discussed as a group – if you feel that a half-hour film isn’t enough for an event on its own, you could watch it alongside Bash the Fash, which is also half an hour, or the hour-and-a-bit Swedish/Greek film The Antifascists.

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From Black Rose Books. Your Freedom and Mine: Abdullah Öcalan and the Kurdish Question in Erdoğan’s Turkey

Hello everyone,

We at Black Rose Books are very excited about the book project Your Freedom and Mine: Abdullah Öcalan and the Kurdish Question in Erdoğan’s Turkey. The title comes from a letter from Mandela when he was imprisoned on Robben Island. The editors Jeff Miley and Federico Venturini have been hard at work on the book. Jeff has written an important 130 page chapter about the history of the Kurdish Question in Turkey. A whole group of international solidarity activists have also made important contributions about their initiatives: Estella from Peace in Kurdistan UK, Kariane and Michael Gunter from the EUTCC, as well as Adem Uzun of the KNK, Simon Dubbins at UNITE, Simon Smellie at the Freedom for Ocalan at UNISON, and Havin Guneser and Reimar Heider at the International Initiative ‘Peace in Kurdistan’. Finally, we have included the reports from the delegations, some articles by Jeff Miley, and the testimonials/accounts of you the delegates, which offer unique reflections of your experiences on the delegations.

The release date for the book is March 21st 2018, which is Newroz. We want the book to make as big an impact as possible, not only to sell copies of the book, but also to raise the issues of the Kurdish Question, to discuss the proposals of Ocälan and the Kurdish Freedom Movement for genuine peace, and to discuss what we as the international community can do in solidarity. Our aim it is reach out with the book in order to have a political impact for a peaceful resolution of the Kurdish question.

In order to do this, we need your help in two main ways:

Organising book events

Getting media publicity and book reviews

Book Events

We would like to encourage you to think about organising a book launch in your city (or even elsewhere if you will be travelling). The release is a good opportunity for you, and organisations you are connected to, to reflect on the Imrali peace delegations and to discuss the political issues.

We are already planning to organise some events in the politically important places such as Brussels (European Parliament), Strasbourg (Council of Europe) and London, as well as Cambridge (where Jeff is located), and possibly a UK tour with Federico.

An alternative to organising a book launch is reaching out to organisations already organising events about the Kurdish Question and you proposing that they have another speaker on the panel (Jeff Miley over video link) to talk about the book. We encourage you also to think about any other events that may be worthwhile to do a book event at. This includes grassroots events (radical book fairs, social forums etc.), foreign policy conferences, human rights forums, Middle East politics conferences etc.

The launch date of the book is Newroz, March 21st 2018, but the book will be available for events from early/mid March. Certainly, there will also be other events organised around the anniversary of Öcalan’s capture (February 15). The book won’t be available for this but we will have flyers available and we can make the book available to pre-order for a discount – we can send pre-order forms.

Sending books: If you are interested to organise any event in your city or elsewhere, please contact Federico and Nathan. Nathan can organise the sending of books to your events through Black Rose Books’ various distribution points. There is Central Books based in London, the University of Chicago Press based in the US, and the University of Toronto Press in Canada. We can send books to anywhere in Europe or North America (and beyond, although it starts to get more expensive). The key is to plan the events well in advance so they can be publicised well, so that media can be contacted and invited, and so that the books can arrive in advance.

Reviews, Endorsements, and Media

Beyond organising events, another very important way that you can help is by getting reviews of the book in the media or academic journals. Do you have contacts in the media who would be willing to review the book? Do you know other public figures who could review the book? Do you know academics who could review the book in academic journals?

Finally, we are also looking for endorsements of the book, to put on the back cover of the book or to use in publicity. Do you know prominent individuals who are supportive of the cause, from whom we could ask for an endorsement? We can send you the PDF to send to such people. We would like get some of these as soon as possible, ideally by mid next week, to be included in the first print run but we would certainly welcome others that would come in later, by the end of the month.

Given the fact that the Kurdish Questionis a lot in the news now, especially around the terrible Turkish invasion of Afrin, if you are ever invited to speak to media about the issues in Turkey and the Kurds in Syria, this could also be a good opportunity to mention the book and the delegations.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.

If you have any question please do not hesitate to contact me.


Federico Venturini

My Review of “The Night Brother” by Rosie Garland

lipstick socialist

the night brother

As the debate around gender recognition in the C21st rages on Rosie Garland’s new novel The Night Brother is a fantastical story of identity and belonging: of sexuality and gender.  Set in late  C19th and  early C20th Manchester  this is the story of Edie and Gnome, angry siblings trying to sort out their lives, whilst at the same time the suffragettes are taking to the streets and demanding the vote.

The story begins in 1894 in a pub in Manchester. “My night brother is here. Halfway between yesterday and tomorrow morning, he shakes my shoulder.”

Edie and Gnome take us on  their adventures through night time Manchester. I love the way in which Rosie catches the cheeky, challenging attitude of working class people.

Gnome gets them into Belle Vue Zoo by pretending to be a tea boy for the workers in the lion house. As they sail for free into…

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The Acorn – 39

winter oak


Number 39

In this issue:

  1. “Let’s put our resistance on the streets in 2018!”
  2. Fake democracy – neoliberals ramp up information war
  3. So who’s behind the attacks on Antifa?
  4. Terrorists, pseudogangs and psyops
  5. The wisdom of being an anarchist
  6. Acorninfo

1. “Let’s put our resistance on the streets in 2018!”

Resistance against the global capitalist system and its police-state repression will be coming to the streets of Europe at the start of 2018, with important international demonstrations planned for Switzerland and Germany.

The action, and discussion, in Switzerland this month revolves around the meeting at Davos of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Swiss radicals are calling for anti-capitalist unity against the WEF and the plutofascist system it represents.

They say: “This year’s WEF slogan is ‘Creating a common future in a broken world’. We agree that the world is not what it should be. But unlike the WEF we see…

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Anti-Fascist Resistance conference, March 10th, London

Anti-Fascist Network

Anti-Fascist Resistance 2018

speakers // discussion // self-defence training // workshops // and more!

Sat March 10th // London

We’ve all seen an international rise of the far-right, and we need to do something about it.

In the face of environmental problems, economic crisis and war, fascists and the far-right have benefited. Whether it’s Trump in America, Le Pen in France or Modi in India, it’s the same thing; pushing national identity, racism, misogyny and authoritarianism.

In the UK, grassroots anti-fascists have defeated the EDL and its offshoots, humiliated National Action, and chased fascists off the streets from London to Liverpool. But this isn’t an easy fight, and one which is becoming harder and more complicated.

Join us for talks and workshops from anti-fascists and anti-racist organisations, highlighting the work that we do, the problems that we face, and what we can do together to fight fascism. Expect everything from…

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We’re bringing out another paper!

As it’s almost certain we’ll be on a stall at this event (see poster below), we’re going to be bringing out another print edition of The Estuary Alternative in a bid to promote this project and get more people contributing to it.

We pretty much wrote all of the copy for the first print edition of The Estuary Alternative in a bid to kick start the project. With the forthcoming print edition, we feel that in order to reflect what’s going on with community focused grassroots projects in the south of Essex, the people involved in them should be writing about what they’re doing and sending the copy to us. All we want to write is a brief editorial and that’s it.

We want to get this four page, A4 paper, printed and delivered back to us by the middle of March. This means the layout has to be…

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