Rob Ray's blog

Notes on the Freedom Anarchist Newspaper Archive

When Freedom updated its website back in October I took the opportunity to start a side project I've been meaning to do for a while - digitising Freedom's newspaper back catalogue. Herein some notes which are a bit internal-bloggy to put on the news site ...

Call COBRA, that’ll sort it

I originally posted this at Freedom News shortly after the Manchester bombing, but blow me if it's not strangely prescient on today's events as well...

Freedom Press: A general pre-bookfair update

Freedom's been up to a fair bit this year, so ahead of the London Anarchist Bookfair on October 29th I thought I'd do an update on how the Press is doing, what we're publishing, and how on Earth we're going to raise £40,000-odd for repairs.

Back of an envelope: Trident and jobs

As Labour has decided the prospect of spending vast sums on Trident renewal wasn't worth debating, I thought I'd do a quick back-of-the-envelope thing on the numbers being bandied about. Obviously Trident is, in terms of defence, a non-starter, as reasonably well outlined by Diane Abbott in her recent Guardian column. But people do like to go on about how many jobs it provides, so I thought I'd take a look at that.

Sources and the police raid on Bristol Indymedia

The Indymedia network has reported today that its Bristol site is no more, after police forced access to its users' IP records as part of a search for the individual or group behind a string of politicised arsons in the area.

Who’s manipulating anyway?

An analysis of David Leppard and Kevin Dowling’s latest attempt to smear anarchists in the Sunday Times

Dear Messrs Webb and Lustig…

An angry response to Robert Webb and Robin Lustig's criticisms of those who choose not to vote, in the wake of Russell Brand's anti-electoral declaration.

A day to bury bad news

A certain topic has been dominating headlines and infuriating lefties yesterday, today and probably will for the next generation or so. However I won't be talking about it directly, because I think the more interesting topic is what exactly the government is currently scrambling to put out under the radar while people are either avoiding the press or religiously reading the special pull-out sections of waffle.

Cait Reilly win is good, but ending workfare for keeps needs more

Today's ruling that every part of workfare other than the Mandatory Work Activity scheme breaks the law has given campaigners against workfare a huge boost - we were right all along. But the DWP have already said they will be doing a simple rephrase of the regulations and trying again and we need to make sure that doesn't happen by piling on the pressure now.

Anarchist audio streams

I've been off blogging recently for various reasons, but having put together a few audio files recently it struck me that there's not really anywhere that such things are being collated (or the specific files at least). This might be something for a dedicated section on libcom one day, I don't know but in the meantime, I thought I might list a few bits and pieces over the next little while...

Black Flag on hiatus

I’m a little sad to announce that Black Flag won’t be coming out with a London Bookfair issue this year, as all three of the core editorial members are just too swamped with other commitments to put it together.

A lengthy reply to David Hoffman

This reply has been a while in compiling, as Hoffman has, for a man regularly protesting how little he cares about the opprobrium of the anarchist set, been remarkably hardworking in his efforts to send letters to pretty much anyone who will listen to him say what a great guy he is and how Freedom is basically Dr No's richer, more unscrupulous successor.

Invitation to a public meeting on Freedom Press

To whom it may concern,

As you may or may not have already heard, Freedom Press is in some difficulty, both financial and in terms of volunteer labour – basically we need you.

Your job after "the revolution"

As some people on libcom may already know I write a column in Black Flag magazine called Breathing Utopia, about the ways different workers see their roles and industries changing in a communist society. I'd like to expand it to book length.

The Freedom anarchist bookshop volunteering guide

I've started doing the odd day at Freedom for a while as I have some spare time and was handed the standard guide for new fish today.

Kony 2012 and public emoting sessions

The Kony 2012 debacle has been well covered over the last couple of days, but I think there’s something related to be said here about the phenomenon of mass Public Emoting Sessions (which I’ll call Pessions, for short).

Attention CNN: There's this thing called Youtube...

CNN's journalism is often appalling, for example this article explaining how Mohamed is the most popular boy's name in England (strange, I thought it was Harry). But whoever it was who put together the coverage for the Occupy Oakland skirmishes has managed a really amazing level of awfulness.

Nov 30: How goes the day?

While bussing to my second picket of the day I thought I'd start a thread for personal reports and updates...

Rebellious Media Conference 2011

Impressions from the alternative media event

Traveller's tale: Dale Farm

Dale Farm protest in Basildon, 2004

The most depressing thing this week has been the level of bile spewed about people at Dale Farm, now set for an eviction on September 10th. Unlike most, I've actually been there.