London Anarchist bookfair 19th Oct

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Ramona
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Oct 21 2013 11:46

None, weirdly enough

Fleur
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Oct 21 2013 12:53

Obviously being an ocean away, I wasn't there but as I saw the tweets coming through it was evident that there was some pretty nasty shit happening. It made me wonder if there was a safer spaces policy in place at all and if there was, wasn't sexist, racist, transphobic abuse covered by it? I hit the bookfair website and noticed that no dogs were allowed but apparently people who harass women were afforded a certain amount of toleration. I don't know exactly what happened but it seems to me that arguments around free-speech, inclusion and dissenting opinion shouldn't be protecting people who abuse and threaten people.
I would have thought that at the very least someone should have put a stop to Ciaron O'Reilly's group from filming people. I know our local bookfair has a strict no photography policy.
To be honest, even from the other side of the planet, I found this a bit dispiriting. It implies to me that in the name The One Big Anarchy the concerns and safety of some groups are thrown under the bus. I'm pretty sure that if any other bigoted group turned up at a bookfair that they would be shown the door but if they call themselves anarchists, it's all OK in the name of inclusion.

Spikymike
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Oct 21 2013 13:00

Thanks to Ramona for the Indymedia linked thread on the bookfair and the 'incident' outside which thread taken as a whole is far from the 'crock of bollocks' mentioned. It seemed that, like me, most people chose to ignore both the guy giving the uninvited speech and the women shouting at him as little more than an irritating irrelevance when there was so much more of interest and importance in the bookfair itself which in it's range of stalls, meetings, films etc was enough to fill up all our time. The bookfair organisers did a great job worthy of all our support in this excellent 'big tent' event which unlike many similar events demonstrates it ability to attract a wide range of people including many new to radical ideas. 'Safer spaces' is of course all our responsibility not just those of the overworked organisers and whilst a short common sense written policy for the bookfair itself wouldn't go amiss such statements are far from the key to success in that area which in any open event of this size will always be problematical.

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Oct 21 2013 13:39

Spikeymike I agree the event itself isn't something we should just abandon and there's a lot of good stuff that comes out of it. The organisers do an excellent job and I think it's worth saving.

I do not think a safer spaces policy is going to be some cure-all that makes bad men not exist any more. There have been attempts to discuss this, at the meeting during last years bookfair, and ahead of this years bookfair the organisers were asked by AF and other comrades about implementing a policy so there was something written and agreed somewhere for people to use as a starting point. And of course it's always going to be problematic and imperfect but it's really not enough to just be all 'shit happens' because we actually do need to address this.

And yeah here goes Ramona banging her safer spaces drum again how boring, I know, I'm fucking bored of it too

mihaly
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Oct 21 2013 13:59
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With all due respect to the bookfair collective who work hard to get the event sorted every year, if the bookfair does not move away from this big-tent approach where they refuse to implement a safer spaces policy of their own and tell us we have to deal with it ourselves, and then are obstructive when other groups try to have safer spaces policies for their own meetings, the bookfair is heading for a dead end.

This bit just isn't true. No one was obstructed from implementing safer spaces policies in their own meetings. Whether having a policy for a meeting worked or not does not seem clear- some reports are positive but some suggest it was counter-productive. Most meetings were fine without one. Over the course of the year we tried to engage on this- again. And, again, some of the most vocal people couldn't be bothered until a month before the bookfair when the practical organisation issues come on top of us.

I don't think the bookfair is heading for a dead end without a safer spaces policy- but having a policy is very different from having a space safe. Spikymike above is dead right that is is everyone's responsibility, looking out for each other and dealing with crap behaviour. Most people most of the time are good on this. And challenging rape apology is part of taking that responsibility. On specific things- eg photography, bookfair policy is clear and if we see it, we stop it, it takes as much time as keeping unattended dogs out, If people were taking photographs and we are not there than anyone can put a stop to it.

Spikymike
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Oct 21 2013 15:32

OK so whilst defending the efforts of the book fair organisers and the general 'big tent' open access approach of the very successful main event it seems the the Ciaron O'Reilly group of people outside deserved much of what they got and more in circumstances of their own making. Most of the meetings seem to have gone well but perhaps some didn't?

So in addition to the discussion on Indymedia there is an account/opinion from one of the feminists involved here:

samambreen.wordpress.com/2013/10/20/there-is-no-anarchism-without-feminism/

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Oct 21 2013 15:56
mihaly wrote:
This bit just isn't true. No one was obstructed from implementing safer spaces policies in their own meetings. Whether having a policy for a meeting worked or not does not seem clear- some reports are positive but some suggest it was counter-productive. Most meetings were fine without one. Over the course of the year we tried to engage on this- again. And, again, some of the most vocal people couldn't be bothered until a month before the bookfair when the practical organisation issues come on top of us.

Sure thing, I had my wires crossed and I apologise for that.

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Oct 21 2013 16:16

I noticed the shouting outside but couldn't figure out what it's about. From afar, it looked sort of like a rally!

This year, I've had less interesting discussions at the stall and met fewer people – but it felt like overall there were more people than last year (does anyone know?). It was very nice to briefly meet libcom's Jim (whose football-related jokes I thought were very funny), as well as all the folks I already knew.

We had a stall next to Datacide (a really, really nice guy; I didn't approach him to talk, but I wish I had), the currently persecuted "The Free Communist" and comrades from the CWO (I couldn't get my head around their newspaper's name; "Aurora" certainly wouldn't work in Eastern Europe as people would keep making jokes about shooting blanks and stuff; no offense though! smile).

I did the talk on Foxconn, at first it seemed like a total flop but eventually 11 people (not counting the people I knew) showed up and from the looks of it they found it interesting (although it seemed few got my xzibit meme joke in the presentation sad). Great questions and discussion with two Canadian wobblies and a Clash City Worker from Italy. Apparently there were some (drunk/high?) hecklers at MC's talk on violence but I wasn't there.

The pub was so packed (was the security there only for the night, i.e. because of the bookfair?) and noisy we couldn't really stand it after the long day, so we headed "home" quite early.

mihaly
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Oct 21 2013 17:28

fair enough.

Quote:
And of course it's always going to be problematic and imperfect but it's really not enough to just be all 'shit happens' because we actually do need to address this.

this is true.

radicalgraffiti
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Oct 21 2013 17:29
mihaly wrote:
Most meetings were fine without one. Over the course of the year we tried to engage on this- again.

I don't think the bookfair is heading for a dead end without a safer spaces policy- but having a policy is very different from having a space safe.

and i expect you don't use an anti virus why you use the internet since for most websites you wont need one, and they don't' give you absolutely perfect protection.

mihaly wrote:
Spikymike above is dead right that is is everyone's responsibility, looking out for each other and dealing with crap behaviour. Most people most of the time are good on this. And challenging rape apology is part of taking that responsibility.

saying its everyones reponsibility is just a way of getting out of any specific individuals do anything, after all if its every ones responsibility they its everyone else's fault and if they do do something you cn denounce them and pretend to be some neutral party, never mind that your neutrality makes things easier for the abuses etc.

mihaly wrote:
On specific things- eg photography, bookfair policy is clear and if we see it, we stop it, it takes as much time as keeping unattended dogs out, If people were taking photographs and we are not there than anyone can put a stop to it.

do you even publicize this policy, or tell people what you want them to do if it is breached?

If you put on an event and invite people to come then you are responsible for what happens to them there

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Oct 21 2013 21:02

CW Ciaron?

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Oct 21 2013 22:56
jef costello wrote:
CW Ciaron?

Some australian hippy with enough of a misguided ego to write his own entry on winkypedia.

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Oct 22 2013 11:58

I heard something about Afed people handing out leaflets at there meetings, could someone post it up?

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Oct 23 2013 09:12

The AF meetings all had info about the Safer Spaces policy for those meetings. I'm not sure if the text is online, maybe someone has a link if it is?

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Oct 22 2013 15:06
rat wrote:
Went to a couple of decent talks but one stands out for me...
After a quick pint me and another AF comrade went to the Radical History Project talk on the British armed forces' strikes and mutinies in 1918-19. Offering excellent historical insights which will be useful for countering the official state bullshit for the upcoming anniversary of the start of World War I, the talks were delivered with a lively manner and with plenty of humor too. The session offered a foundation of ideas and facts which inspired me to get on with producing an anti-war publication that will help point out, in a ultra-compact way, the genuine working class anti-war resistance to the war.

BBC bullshit

Rat, what publication do you do?

I am also planning on doing a Free Communist edition next year on the first WWI, that I've been discussing with some of the people that put on the Midlands Discussion Forum.

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Oct 22 2013 20:50

Melmoth told me a bit about the meetings organised by the CWO and Mouvement Communiste. Hopefully we can come back to the content of both. Both were well attended, and this is further evidence that the ban on the communist left no longer applies. But I'd like to know more about the reasons for this, even if I welcome it.

Who makes the decisions about who is permitted a presence? What are the criteria?

I note a discussion along these lines with regard to the ban on Theft's group at the Manchester bookfair, also for being too communist.

http://www.libcom.org/forums/announcements/manchester-salford-anarchist-...

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Oct 23 2013 00:00

Mr. Jolly wrote:

Quote:
jef costello wrote:
CW Ciaron?
Some australian hippy with enough of a misguided ego to write his own entry on winkypedia.

He is also widely regarded within the Indigenous activist community as a racist for his behaviour at Jabiluka where he monstered Yvonne Margarula and (falsely) denounced Jacqui Katona as an ALP-stooge.

redsdisease
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Oct 23 2013 03:39
jura wrote:
(although it seemed few got my xzibit meme joke in the presentation sad)

I'm intrigued.

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Oct 23 2013 07:18
Alf wrote:
I note a discussion along these lines with regard to the ban on Theft's group at the Manchester bookfair, also for being too communist.

They won't give The Free Communist paper a stall not because he's too communist but because he is communist.

But they're absolutely fine with the International Brigades Memorial Trust being there.

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Oct 23 2013 08:25

Just to be clear The Free Communist isn't a group, its simply a paper that I produce smile

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Oct 23 2013 08:41

Someone from the Libcom group asked me if I would give him some help writing something about past postal strikes. I know the guy, and know his real name, but don't know his user name on here. Can you pm me, please?
Devrim

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Oct 23 2013 09:10

They won't give The Free Communist paper a stall not because he's too communist but because he is communist.

That was the nub of my jest

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Oct 23 2013 10:09
Devrim wrote:
Someone from the Libcom group asked me if I would give him some help writing something about past postal strikes. I know the guy, and know his real name, but don't know his user name on here. Can you pm me, please?
Devrim

I would be pretty sure that would have been Ed

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Oct 23 2013 11:17

Jura were you at the Mouvement Communiste stall? I was upset I missed the workers violence talk but it clashed with an SF event. I didn't meet any libcom posters this year confused

ajjohnstone
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Oct 23 2013 11:57

Not to blow my own trumpet but a couple of articles about the mid-90s strike wave, here. Edinburgh at that time was probably the epicentre of postal worker militancy at that time (along with Liverpool)

http://mailstrom.blogspot.com/2009/12/wobbly-days.html

Some more links of the 2007 strikes

http://mailstrom.blogspot.com/2007/10/maelstrom-in-royal-mail.html

http://mailstrom.blogspot.com/2007/03/wild-cat-in-edinburgh.html

http://mailstrom.blogspot.com/2007/08/gone-postal.html

http://mailstrom.blogspot.com/2007/07/mail-strikes.html

http://mailstrom.blogspot.com/2007/09/why-postal-workers-are-striking.ht...

http://mailstrom.blogspot.com/2007/05/vote-yes-for-industrial-action.htm...

http://mailstrom.blogspot.com/2007/06/postal-solidarity.html

http://mailstrom.blogspot.com/2007/06/out.html

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Oct 23 2013 12:01
Arbeiten wrote:
Jura were you at the Mouvement Communiste stall?

I was, on and off, between nervously preparing for my talk, giving the talk, and nervously recovering from the talk.

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Oct 23 2013 15:41
redsdisease wrote:
jura wrote:
(although it seemed few got my xzibit meme joke in the presentation sad)

I'm intrigued.

OK, first the context. In the Czech Republic, Foxconn heavily relies on temp agencies. They have been taking on some new interesting roles in disciplining accomodation and production. More recently, they've become even more involved in managing production. The way it works is a temp agency X creates a subsidiary Y which is legally independent from X but economically and personally linked to X. Y then hires workers recruited by X. Foxconn enters into a contract with Y, specifying that at a given date, Y will supply Foxconn with a certain amount of products produced with the means of production provided by Foxconn. In effect, Y (itself an offshoot of the temp agency X) hires a production line from Foxconn, runs it, manages it and takes reponsibility for everything around it. In other words, a part of the Foxconn factory is legally no longer "a part of the factory". The regulators, like labor inspectors, can't wrap their heads around it and can't properly investigate working conditions in Foxconn (because Y in this case is not Foxconn).

Here's the "joke":

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Oct 24 2013 08:14

It's good! Much better than most of the stuff posted on the horrific "meme thread" while ago anyway…

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Oct 24 2013 08:41

The delivery must have been the problem then!

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Oct 31 2017 14:40

Enjoyed the Bookfair