London Anarchist Bookfair Saturday 18th October 2014

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Kate Sharpley's picture
Kate Sharpley
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Sep 12 2014 09:11
London Anarchist Bookfair Saturday 18th October 2014

The 2014 London Anarchist Bookfair will be on Saturday 18th October From 10am to 7pm.
Their website is: http://www.anarchistbookfair.org.uk/
The venue is Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS.
(The list of meetings is up, but no descriptions of them as yet.)

Best if discussion of "Why can't the SPGB come" stays on that thread

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the button
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Sep 12 2014 11:20

Meeting descriptions now added -- click on the link to the room, and it brings up a list of meetings along with further details and which group is organising them.

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Sep 15 2014 10:28

Thanks for the update.

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Oct 11 2014 09:45

Critisticuffs will be running six meetings from 12 - 6pm in room 3.15 at the bookfair.

Elections: The state is like 'hello', the people are like 'hi': elections

Room 3.15, 12 - 1pm

Quote:
Regular elections are central institutions in democratic states. They are also often misunderstood as mere shams or are criticised on formal grounds such as being held not often enough to realise true democracy. In this workshop, we want to start differently and take elections seriously as a means of democratic rule. Our starting point is that democratic states want the consent of their citizens and that elections are means to reaffirm the unity of rule and its subjects.

Universal Credit: welfare that works

Room 3.15, 1 - 2pm

Quote:
Universal Credit, the new mechanism through which the state will manage useful poverty, merges 6 income based benefits for “working age” people in order to make “work pay, achieve fairness and simplify the system”. This workshop looks at: What does the design of universal credit show about the purpose of work. Why has the state to seek to ensure it is made to pay through a combination of financial support and sanctions. We look at how universal credit achieves fairness against the interests of those with and without work, and how simplification works without any reduction in rules.

Love

Room 3.15, 2 - 3pm

Quote:
Finding love is the top priority for a lot of people in our society, judging by the never ending invention of match making websites. A failure of love is often blamed as the reason for tragic events like the Isla Vista killings. In this workshop we would like to look at why love is so important for so many people and how loving someone often implies a demand that is impossible to satisfy.

Domestic Sphere: Why is there a domestic sphere?

Room 3.15, 3 - 4pm

Quote:
Increasing attention has been paid to the nature of work carried out in the domestic sphere. This workshop wants to take a step back from this and ask the question: why is there a domestic sphere? We will argue that the domestic sphere has its basis in the institution of private property, that the domestic sphere is subordinated to the demands of the public sphere and that the poverty of workers ensures that the majority of 'reproductive' work will continue to be done privately.

Snowden Leaks

Room 3.15, 4 - 5pm

Quote:
Edward Snowden's leaks about NSA surveillance techniques showed that the US did their job: controlling their own citizens thoroughly and the whole world. It is nothing peculiar to the world power: every state wants to know what is going on with its people, even in the private sphere. That clashes with the self-understanding of democratic states to grant an ostensibly untouchable private sphere. Unfortunately, patriotic critics including Snowden argue that the secret services should receive better oversight – which leaves the state's demands against its citizens out of the picture and even affirms the principle of secret services.

Immigration: 'Are you with us?' – About the state, its citizens and non-citizens

Room 3.15, 5 – 6pm

Quote:
From EU immigration to the treatment of asylum seekers in the UK, hardly a day goes by without the public talking about the effects of immigration. We want to look at what it means for a state to differentiate people into citizens and foreigners and what it means for the people to be claimed as such. The state rules over its citizens in the interest of capital and nation. Based on this, we will argue that the policies on immigration and asylum reflect the state's demand against its own citizens, albeit with different consequences.

Caiman del Barrio
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Oct 15 2014 12:21

Hello, I may have missed this, but who are Crisisticuffs?

Slightly disappointed to see no meetings on two topics which personally interest me: Calais migrant solidarity and some sort of discussion of radical education, but encouraged by the number of meetings with the word 'worker' in the title. wink

I'm considering doing an about turn and going to see some meetings, if my partner agrees since it's her birthday weekend.

Spikymike
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Oct 15 2014 13:13

Caiman,

A search here of 'kittens journal' will bring up some material related to this group - worth a look.

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Oct 18 2014 15:43

Any kick offs yet?

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Oct 18 2014 18:53

Give it a miss this year. Went to football instead to watch my team get hammered sad
Shoulda gone t'bookfair.

Battlescarred
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Oct 19 2014 08:46

No kick offs, which I know will disappoint some here.

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Oct 19 2014 08:50

Damn those anarchist monkeys for not performing!!! angry

Tarquin
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Oct 19 2014 10:39
Quote:
Give it a miss this year. Went to football instead to watch my team get hammered

Margy out!

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Joseph Kay
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Oct 19 2014 10:43
Serge Forward wrote:
Damn those anarchist monkeys for not performing!!! angry

Anarchist monkeys cool

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Oct 19 2014 10:46
Tarquin wrote:
Quote:
Give it a miss this year. Went to football instead to watch my team get hammered

Margy out!

Nooooooooooo!!!!

Max_Anarchies
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Oct 19 2014 22:08

Apparently someone got called out for having dreadlocks because cultural appropriation.

I wonder how many punks got called out for cultural appropriation for having hairstyles named after the wrong group of native americans, but that's probably fine because they're usually a bit less annoying then white kids with dreads.

Well done comrades, we're officially a parody of ourselves.

I'll just go and brace myself for the wrath of twitter.

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Oct 19 2014 22:23

Bookfair innit. Always get a fair few bell ends turn up. Just yer daft identity politicos this year, eh?

jolasmo
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Oct 19 2014 22:26
Quote:
Apparently someone got called out for having dreadlocks because cultural appropriation.

Was this at AFem today? Some one on twitter said it was raised as a safe space issue. Oh dear...

~J.

Max_Anarchies
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Oct 19 2014 22:55

Yea sorry, should have specified that was actually at afem.

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Oct 20 2014 11:52
Max_Anarchies wrote:
Apparently someone got called out for having dreadlocks because cultural appropriation.

Dreadlock essentialism?

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Shorty
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Oct 20 2014 12:30

Ethno pluralism?

Serge Forward's picture
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Oct 20 2014 12:44

Does this mean I shouldn't eat my favourite lamb biryani or listen to any George Clinton for fear of being guilty of some form of cultural appropriation? Hmm.. didn't the NF used to argue that kind of bollix?

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Oct 20 2014 12:55

Wouldn't it have been more honest just to have a sign,

"No Egg Smellers"

Caiman del Barrio
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Oct 20 2014 13:28

White dudes with dreadlocks is fucking lame, tbf.

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Oct 20 2014 13:39

Chuck them out for smelling of piss, but come on....

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Oct 20 2014 13:49

Its basically akin to the black and white minstrels.

Caiman del Barrio
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Oct 20 2014 13:46

So I went along to the Bookfair for a few hours in the end, totally relinquished of any sort of responsibility and alone for the most of the day, which was a novel and liberating experience. I went to an interesting talking about Ujamaa in Tanzania (I probably didn't agree with all of their conclusions, but I bought their book in order to row with the feminist Trots online or something wink ), one about Mexico solidarity (yep!) and the SF wage theft meeting. Kinda surprised the work of Brighton SF hasn't been mentioned on here, since they've scored a bunch of quick victories with typically isolated, 'unwinnable' workers (migrants working in hospitality) and they made a flashy video and everything. Anyway, the meeting was impressive, not least cos the speakers were unabashedly reflective and self-critical in terms of the strengths and weaknesses of wage theft campaigns, and their current internal debate on how to develop. A welcome departure from most meetings hosted by organisations, which are basically PR presentations/recruitment drives.

So that was what I enjoyed about Bookfair. Unfortunately, I found many things to be pretty unpleasant and they reminded me why I was so reluctant to attend in previous years:

-anarchists are, predominantly, antisocial, rude and unfriendly. The crush on the stairs was worse than anything that happens on the Tube, complete with armies of hoodie-and-backpack morons who were SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than you, which was WHY THEY ABSOLUTELY HAD TO PUSH PAST YOU, THRUSTING THEIR BACKPACK IN YOUR FACE in the process. I'd also forgotten how anarchists apparently consider it acceptable to barge into a meeting room halfway through while continuing their conversation (even standing in the doorway, holding the door open, with their back to the meeting they're interrupting), or indeed, talk over speakers, disregard or disdain those less 'versed' in 'milieu jargon' than them, etc. This sort of behaviour isn't appropriate in any other sphere of life, and it's precisely the permissive culture of the 'anarcho scene' which allows this sort of misanthropy to prosper. I'd seriously suggest to the Bookfair organisers to invest some time in drawing up some sort of etiquette charter for next year, but seeing as how they haven't even ratified a Safer Spaces agreement, it seems pretty unlikely they'll do anything, due to said permissiveness.

-The amount of people who went along to the ever more miserable spectacle of self-promoting 'actions' - be they in Whitechapel or Parliament Square - never ceases to amaze me. When will we give up this obsession with ourselves? When will we kick out the careerists, the electoralists and the idiots?

-Not so much something I didn't enjoy but more of an embarrassing confession: in looking for the SF stall, I stumbled across something which said SOLIDARITY FOREVER above it, and promptly made a beeline (my eyesight has deteriorated rapidly of late). When I got to said stall, I was surprised to see noone I recognised and I figured that SF must have grown exponentially over the last 18 months since I was a militant. Of course, after about 5 minutes of hovering around awkwardly, recognising nothing on the stall or noone near it, I realised it was actually the IWW one and I'm a moron.

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Oct 20 2014 13:50

The safer spaces agreement for AFem2014 emphasised that cultural appropriation should be avoided:

8. Cultural appropriation - avoid taking parts of cultures (like language or dress e.g. a bindi or a Native American war bonnet) that they have a colonial relationship to, and using them for their own gratification. We ask that participants consider why they’re doing this (e.g. colonialism, white supremacy) and listen when challenged about it by people of colour.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Fj9l4Tez_yh-MQ4ZRls_SPDuJ6njAX5armDL...

Which culture? Proletarian or bourgeois?

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Oct 20 2014 13:59

Most that I have known with dreadlocks (regardless of skin shade) see this as a token of identity with Haile Selassie the reactionary 'messiah' who brought terror on Ethiopian worker organisations.

Caiman del Barrio
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Oct 20 2014 14:01
rat wrote:
The safer spaces agreement for AFem2014 emphasised that cultural appropriation should be avoided:

8. Cultural appropriation - avoid taking parts of cultures (like language or dress e.g. a bindi or a Native American war bonnet) that they have a colonial relationship to, and using them for their own gratification. We ask that participants consider why they’re doing this (e.g. colonialism, white supremacy) and listen when challenged about it by people of colour.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Fj9l4Tez_yh-MQ4ZRls_SPDuJ6njAX5armDL...

Which culture? Proletarian or bourgeois?

This is the worst post on Libcom this month so far. As if there are only two 'cultures'.

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Oct 20 2014 14:04

Oh dear. Self-parody indeed.

Still, good luck to them. Their conference, their rules.

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Oct 20 2014 14:20

The language bit in that statement reminds me of that racist historian David Starkey's outbursts about white working class kids 'appropriating patois'.

But as Serge says each to their own.

Caiman del Barrio
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Oct 20 2014 14:25

The association between feminists and Nazis is totally bizarre, kinda embarrassing and totally tasteless. All of you are smart enough to know better, and to understand why somewhere might attempt to deal with something around cultural appropriation. If you think they got it wrong, maybe you should think about what they're trying to achieve and how better they might achieve it, instead of bad faith sniping like old boorish sexists in a shit pub.