London Anarchist Bookfair, Saturday 29th October 2016

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freemind
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Nov 6 2016 17:04

If Anarchists choose to let quasi-religious elements into their Bookfair then is it any wonder Nationalists enter the fray?I heard a Black Nationalist berating Anarchists when I was looking at the Rojava stall and I was not convinced of the Libertarian credentials of Rojava.They are a liberal deviation of the PKK in my opinion and the answers I received did nothing to dispel my view.

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Serge Forward
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Nov 6 2016 18:55
S Melmoth wrote:
Still no answer?
Again I ask the question are you anarchists happy with the way that this meeting on (Syria) has unfolded? and the (non) response afterwards. What has happened to your sense of Internationalism? Listened to the talk from Lelia Al Shami and Robin Yassin Kassab. Total nationalist perspectives. Where do you stand Internationalist Anarchists? Are you happy to be involved with such company? Comrades such as Spikymike, the AF and the MDF where do you stand on inviting the nationalists back to the next ABF?
Melmoth

Shock horror. Dodgepots with shit politics spotted at the anarchist bookfair. It's been like that as long as I can remember. Nothing to see here.

That said... I agree the presence of nationalist rubbish and religious identity idiots was particularly odious this year. For the record, I'm with the AF and organising the bookfair is nowt to do with us (aside from booking our stall space and meeting rooms). Still, you're not new to all this. Is it really such a surprise when these sort of twats turn up? I'd be more astonished if, post bookfair, I didn't feel the need to wonder what the fuck certain elements were doing there.

Flint
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Nov 7 2016 06:12
S Melmoth wrote:
Listened to the talk from Lelia Al Shami and Robin Yassin Kassab. Total nationalist perspectives.

If you are a close follower of these forums, you'll know that Robin Yassin-Kassab has been discussed, including his support for Turkey attacking Afrin. A few commenters here are so determined to paint the PYD as ethnic nationalists that they ignore folks like Yassin-Kassab who advocate that towns be controlled exclusively by a particularly groups on the basis of ethnicity, while TEV-DEM and the SDF are multi-ethnic bodies. Or that the Free Syrian Army and other rebels he supports don't have much in the way of a progressive program, so he instead highlights the more organic councils who do some humanitarian and infrastructure work while ignoring the actual governing of FSA and Islamist areas.

Its seems to me that folks seeking a certain kind of revolutionary ideal are uninterested in doing any sort of comparative politics in this forum. "IT'S ALL THE SAME!" No, its not.

I do find it typical that some folks are more interested in a poorly attended talk at a bookfair getting disrupted by someone who wouldn't shut up.. than say the implications and consequences of Erdogan and the AKP arresting the HDP as part of its increasingly draconian crackdown and move towards autocracy.

Its a bit odd that this is the only subject S Melmoth has ever commented on. Perhaps you'd be better taking your points directly to the bookfair organizers in person, perhaps helping out with the fair, volunteering for security?

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jondwhite
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Nov 6 2016 20:21

Melmoth what have you got to say about Amir taaki?

Rachel
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Nov 6 2016 23:27

Many of us are adults and feel we'd like to be able to go along to meetings and listen, learn, discuss, disagree and argue.

The bookfair organisers do a good job at their tough and thankless task.

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Khawaga
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Nov 6 2016 23:09

Melmoth, you should direct your ire at the book fair organizers; it's a bit rich to treat all anarchists with the same brush as if "anarchists" are one homogeneous bloc. And especially on a message board that is typically staunchly anti-nationalist, you should try to learn about the politics of the site before accusing all anarchists of being some fifth columnists for the PKK.

Flint
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Nov 7 2016 00:29
Khawaga wrote:
fifth columnist

I don't think that is how the word is used, unless you are talking about people who are in Turkey working to undermine the AKP government.

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jesuithitsquad
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Nov 7 2016 07:29
khawaga wrote:
you should try to learn about the politics of the site before accusing all anarchists of being some fifth columnists for the PKK.

Melmoth certainly has had enough time to learn about the politics of the site. I believe they should be nominated for the Longest Libcom Lurker© hall of fame.

Quote:
S Melmoth
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2 years 6 weeks

Flint, I understood what khawaga meant. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I can tell it appears to be a proper usage of the term.

Quote:

A fifth column is any group of people who undermine a larger group—such as a nation or a besieged city—from within, usually in favor of an enemy group or nation. The activities of a fifth column can be overt or clandestine. Wikipedia

Flint
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Nov 7 2016 07:45
Quote:
Flint, I understood what khawaga meant. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I can tell it appears to be a proper usage of the term.

A fifth column is any group of people who undermine a larger group—such as a nation or a besieged city—from within, usually in favor of an enemy group or nation. The activities of a fifth column can be overt or clandestine. Wikipedia

Is Libcom.org forums a nation? a besieged city? Is it besieged by the PKK?

If anything, its the ICC which has tried to ideologically browbeat libcom into being in lockstep with their positions.

Fifth Columnist is a needlessly pejorative term. Cheerleader could be derogatory and still be more accurate than "Fifth Columnist". I'd be like calling Melmoth a sleeper cell or Manchurian candidate. Maybe it is a long time lurker who decided that this is the issue for them to engage the forums on. Maybe its another socket puppet. Regardless, folks at the Anarchist Bookfair probably know who it is if they want to have a talk.

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jesuithitsquad
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Nov 7 2016 08:07

No, but per the above definition it wouldn't need to be. Nation state & besieged city were given as examples of a larger group. Using the phrase "a larger group--such as" leads one to safely assume there are other examples that are perfectly acceptable. If those two were the only acceptable groups, it would have been written to say--"a smaller group who undermines a nation state or besieged city..."

Not to mention, khawaga never referred to libcom, instead referring to all anarchist being a 5th column, presumably being against the state or even the world in their efforts to back PKK.

freemind
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Nov 7 2016 09:03

The only way to stop reactionary imposters at an Anarchist event is to have genuine class struggle Anarchist groups and Libertarian working class organisations.Liberals and life stylists and Nationalist/Theocrats should be barred-no criticism of organisers intended.

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Serge Forward
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Nov 7 2016 12:24

Not going to happen. It's an open public event, not a closed class-struggle anarchist gathering. So there will be people present who many on Libcom would disagree with and, in some cases, find pretty loathsome. It is what it is and the organisers do a fairly decent job considering there's not that many of them involved in putting on this massive (in contemporary UK anarchist terms) event.

freemind
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Nov 7 2016 13:12

I was thinking of the Stalls primarily in that if they are not Anarchist is;Class conscious Atheist and Anti Capitalist why permit them-in a macro context Anarchists are going to have to rid themselves of the life stylists,liberals,fakirs and individualists before it can be taken seriously.Otherwise Anarchism is dying a slow death if it tolerates the perverse notions of AnarchoCapitalists,AnarchoBolshevism etc etc

Spikymike
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Nov 7 2016 18:25

So for the record I listened to the SOAS recording by Al Shami and Kassab and found it useful (when viewed critically) as a means of comparing/contrasting with other views on the Syrian situation from more pro PKK elements and other material from a variety of sources, though it only reinforced views I already hold on the essentially democratic rather than revolutionary nature of much of the different Syrian opposition movements that are not Islamist and fundamentalist in nature and the inter-imperialist alliances that are at work. Wasn't my choice for the Anarchist bookfair and didn't go to it so can't comment on the way it went.

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Khawaga
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Nov 7 2016 19:11
Flint wrote:
I don't think that is how the word is used, unless you are talking about people who are in Turkey working to undermine the AKP government.

As Jesuithitman correctly identified, my use of fifth columnist is just fine. And, in any case, I was having a go at the silly post by Melmoth.

Battlescarred
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Nov 8 2016 10:16

Don't recall seeing any "anarcho-capitalists" or indeed for that matter anarchobolsheviks at the Bookfair. Perhaps yoou could point me twards something I've overlooked, Freemind?

freemind
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Nov 8 2016 10:53

I was talking generally although Christian and Jewish Anarchism?No Gods No Masters sic Anarchism implies Atheism surely-a once great ideology is in a malaise and being destroyed by its tolerance of reactionary beliefs trying to attach itself to its cause.

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Serge Forward
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Nov 8 2016 11:08

Hmm... those "One God No Masters" t-shirts were particularly nauseating.

freemind
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Nov 8 2016 12:12

I was talking generally although Christian and Jewish Anarchism?No Gods No Masters sic Anarchism implies Atheism surely-a once great ideology is in a malaise and being destroyed by its tolerance of reactionary beliefs trying to attach itself to its cause.

Jim
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Nov 8 2016 13:15

Fairly sure the 'One God, No Masters' stickers were a joke and Jewdas (the radical Jewish group who produced them) are pretty solid. Preferred the ones they did of Emma Goldman with a Trump-style hat saying 'Make Anarchism Jewish Again' myself.

new Jewdas stickers! come see us at Anarchist Bookfair on the 29th

Posted by Jewdas on Friday, October 21, 2016

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Serge Forward
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Nov 8 2016 14:11

Egg on face eh. Dontcha just love in-jokes.

Mind you, much as I'm permanently irritated by anything remotely related to identity politics and have criticisms of anti-fascism, I did kinda like the Jewish Anti Fascist Action t-shirts.

Mark.
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Nov 8 2016 15:31
Spikymike wrote:
So for the record I listened to the SOAS recording by Al Shami and Kassab and found it useful (when viewed critically) as a means of comparing/contrasting with other views on the Syrian situation from more pro PKK elements and other material from a variety of sources, though it only reinforced views I already hold on the essentially democratic rather than revolutionary nature of much of the different Syrian opposition movements that are not Islamist and fundamentalist in nature and the inter-imperialist alliances that are at work. Wasn't my choice for the Anarchist bookfair and didn't go to it so can't comment on the way it went.

This sounds fair to me. There's a new interview with Leila Al Shami here on the current situation in Syria. Being critical of some of her positions is one thing but I can't see why anyone would want to bar her from speaking.

http://socialistreview.org.uk/418/syria-not-victims-citizens

Flint
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Nov 8 2016 22:27
Mark. wrote:
Being critical of some of her positions is one thing but I can't see why anyone would want to bar her from speaking.

WARNING, the following link has a graphic image with it if you pull it up on mobile reddit, rather than desktop reddit. It is graphic violence.

Most of Amir Taaki's invective was directed at Robin Yassin-Kassab.

Here is just the text of Amir Taaki's post so you don't have to click through:

Amir Taaki wrote:
The main speaker tomorrow (Sat) at the UK's largest anarchist event is a supporter of fascist groups

Hello people,
Tomorrow is London's biggest annual anarchist event, and the main speaker is a supporter of fascist Islamist groups like Ahrar al-Sham that stone women to death. You can search his name on YouTube (Robin Kassab) and find videos where he says things like he supports the foreign policy of David Cameron, which is supporting Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the 2 most fascist and racist countries in the middle east.
"Apparently Turkey is using heavy artillery against the PYD in Azaz and Afrin. I do not oppose it. The PYD has been invading Arab-majority areas under heavy Russian bombing. It would be disastrous for civilians in Aleppo and Idlib as well as for the Turkish state if the PYD occupied the entire border." Robin Yassin-Kassab, February 13, 2016 at 9:57am
https://www.facebook.com/robin.yassinkassab/posts/10208675426381956
In case you don't know, the Turkish backed groups attacking Rojava (which he calls the PYD) are Islamists like al-Zinki that cut the heads off children and stone women to death.
Turkish backed rebels attacking Rojava:

(REMOVED LINKS TO GRAPHIC IMAGES)

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/07/19/u-s-backed-moderate-reb...
He has this narrative that the opposition areas are real local democracy (in reality just al-Nusra) while Rojava is a one-party dictatorship. This guy regularly speaks at events like LSE which just this week also hosted the Turkish prime minister's deputy. The guy is probably a paid shill. He's a swarmy pseudo-intellectual BBC commentator who has never been to Rojava.
I was in Rojava for one year and a half, and in the YPG for a 3 and a half months. Rojava is definitely not a one-party dictatorship, that's absolute horseshit.
This event is not having anything about Rojava, eventhough their main talk is about Syria. They're trying to sideline Rojava while allowing this fascist supporter to spread his poisonous propaganda.
Just read some comments here:
http://anarchistnews.org/comment/214747#comment-214747
His talk is 2pm at the London anarchist bookfair in the main hall.

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Serge Forward
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Nov 8 2016 20:40

For fuck sake, Flint. That link goes to a page with an image I really did not want to see.

Flint
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Nov 8 2016 22:23
Serge Forward wrote:
For fuck sake, Flint. That link goes to a page with an image I really did not want to see.

What image? The banner?

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Serge Forward
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Nov 8 2016 21:59

The photo of what appears to be some bloke stamping on a child's head.

Flint
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Nov 8 2016 22:21
Serge Forward wrote:
The photo of what appears to be some bloke stamping on a child's head.

Oh... I see the problem. Mobile Reddit immediately shows the first hyperlinked image. On non-mobile, it doesn't immediately pop up.

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Alf
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Nov 9 2016 09:52

Rather than attacking SM as a lurker, it would have been more seemly for those who want to oppose nationalism to have offered some support for SM and jaycee for doing something worthwhile at this meeting – i.e. pointing out as loudly as they could amid the hubbub that the clash on the stage was a micrcocosm of the inter-bourgeois confrontation going on in Syria and Iraq. But so far only freemind seems to have really focussed on the key problem posed by this event and which is embodied by the criteria for participation in the bookfair: the idea of an anarchist movement which is not defined by class politics, by the necessity to defend proletarian interests against those of the class enemy, but which is seen as a ‘broad church’ in which nationalists and other open defenders of the dominant ideology are given free rein as long as they pin an ‘anarcho’ label on their enterprise.

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Nov 9 2016 10:52

Give over, Alf. Pots and kettles innit. While I would agree that what passes for an "anarchist movement" is a "‘broad church’ in which nationalists and other open defenders of the dominant ideology are given free rein as long as they pin an ‘anarcho’ label on their enterprise"... much the same can be said of the wider left - as long as they pin a "communist/socialist/Marxist" label on their enterprise.

Basically, most "left and anarcho" politics is shit but some of us try to do better.

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Nov 9 2016 11:00

Yeah weirdos with bizarre politics show up all over the shop, the anarchist movement is not particularly worse for them than the Tories or liberals. Hilary Benn ended up ranting about how Britain could be like the International Brigades in Syria and back Assad. Jacob Rees-Mogg is an actual MP elected by real people.