Hi, I recently wrote a short newsy-type piece for Freedom paper on things going on in Bristol, and it's popped up on the Enrager newswire (see Anarchist Movement, under Topics), but I've cut n pasted it at the end of these comments. Part of the article mentioned that a few anarchos have got together to form a fledgling Bristol Anarchists Network (BAN ), so I thought folks on this forum may have something to say.... go on say something?!
It should be stressed though that BAN is not out to replace any of the existing groups/activity in the Bristol zone, but hopes to complement & support them, and perhaps give a bit of cohesion to Bristol-wide anarcho activity. One person involved has described it as 'anarchist outreach', meaning to get anarchist ideas/info/publicity/action out to the wider public who find the 'anarcho-scene' hard to get into.
So far folks involved include individuals linked to Bristol Solidarity, Bristol Indymedia, Bristol ABC, Bristle mag, kebele. Activity so far has involved a few street stalls/leafletting, with ideas for a few possible discussion meetings, and a presence at say March 20th anti-war event and May 1st. There's also an informal monthly meet up in a pub (for now). Anway, here's the article, give us all yer comments!
Bristol has a proud tradition of activists taking action against the evils of capitalism, and this continues today. On 20 February at 8.30am, 8 members of a direct action group locked down the Esso petrol station on Park Row in the city centre. In an action that took less then 5 minutes, petrol pumps were d-locked together and graffiti sprayed attacking Esso’s corporate greed. The garage was knocked out for several hours. At 4.30pm on the same day, another group including student & other activists closed down the same petrol station with a non-violent picket, using banners and flyers.
Elsewhere, activists have been to support the Blackwood roads protest, others continue to subvert billboards with style, some hold a monthly ‘pissed-off worker’ open meeting, some help out at Bristol Indymedia, and much more besides. However, some Bristol anarchists believe that anarchist ideas and action need to be more easily accessible to those outside the core ‘scene’, and that anarchists need to be more visibly out and about, practising what they preach, and spreading the message of the core beliefs of anarchism. They are therefore in the process of putting together a Bristol Anarchists Network (BAN) - to network among Bristol's anarchists and to publicise & disseminate anarchist ideas and action. This is in no way meant to detract from the work & activities of other groups (there’s a lot of cross membership), but to support them and help publicise the ideas behind them to a wider audience. BAN is at present in a very early stage of its evolution, with an informal monthly gathering, some city centre street stalls & leafleting, as well as individual contributions to a range of activities such as the upcoming issue of Bristle magazine which will feature on direct action. Its success will depend on other anarchists seeing it as a worthwhile project. Get in touch: email@example.com