Catalyst #22 Winter 2009 - Newspaper of the Solidarity Federation

Comments

petey
Oct 26 2009 18:51

that link don't link

Joseph Kay
Oct 26 2009 18:58

fixed!

martinh
Oct 26 2009 21:57

If anyone wants real life copies to give out, PM me with a real life address and I'll bung you some in the post,

Regards,

Martin

Devrim
Oct 27 2009 14:14

I have just downloaded the pdf and haven't read any of it yet (I plan to), the layout looks good, as does the choice of topics for articles.

How are you distributing it?

Devrim

Farce
Oct 27 2009 14:23

And there ends Resistance's short-lived reign as the only anarcho paper with good layout (2009-2009, I think). Organise should start doing their paper entirely in crayon so I can feel smug again.

Joseph Kay
Oct 27 2009 16:44
Devrim wrote:
How are you distributing it?

in Brighton, mostly at the train station during the morning commute, capitalising on the ubiquity of the Metro etc and the fact that if people drop it they drop it on the train where others will pick it up. but also all the usual cafes, pubs and lefty haunts.

Devrim wrote:
have just downloaded the pdf and haven't read any of it yet (I plan to), the layout looks good, as does the choice of topics for articles.

the article choices reflect the fact this was slightly more bookfair-oriented than it would normally be, but are pretty close to what we have in mind for it. we'll probably cut some of the 'about SolFed' blurb and detailed contacts in favour of expanding 'know your rights' (i'd like to see it cover housing and benefits too), plus we'd like a bit more social content (like the drugs article).

Rob Ray
Oct 27 2009 18:21

With the know your rights stuff it might be an idea to run more detailed stuff as a series, one in each issue, with a small column with minimal info outlining what's already been in, but pointing to those previous issues online (or by order from solfed)? That way it's drawing people to go a bit further, look at the site, engage with their local etc.

Devrim
Oct 28 2009 11:03
Quote:
in Brighton, mostly at the train station during the morning commute, capitalising on the ubiquity of the Metro etc and the fact that if people drop it they drop it on the train where others will pick it up. but also all the usual cafes, pubs and lefty haunts.

Do you think doing it at the train station is effective? We have never given away free stuff to the general public in Turkey. At big demonstrations we give out thousands of leaflets (leaflets are much rarer here. You don't go home from a demo with half a forest's worth of paper in your pocket, and people are much more willing to take them, at times queueing up to receive a leaflet), and could always do more. We also gave away a free copy of a special issue of 'Gece Notlari' on the demonstrations around the general strike last year.

We could give out thousands of leaflets in the morning at the main minibus station in Ankara for example. I am just not sure whether it would be worth it financially. On a demo or a picket line there is much more chance that the person you give it too will be interested in socialist politics.

How many do you give out? Do you think that it is effective?

Devrim

Joseph Kay
Oct 28 2009 13:49

The marginal cost of tabloids is negligible once the initial setup costs are paid, hence why it's free. Now it's not an either/or, but to be honest the people on demos usually aren't very interested in our politics because there's a large and well-established leftist/activist ghetto in Brighton from which demo attendees are drawn (outside of upsurges in protest like the anti-war movement).

In any case it's not mutually exclusive and we do hand them out at demos, put them in lefty/activist places etc, but our politics aren't aimed at the left. The limited feedback so far from non-politicos has been good, and if people are happy to flick through the metro while commuting I see no reason we can't create something just as readable with our politics in it, and enough practical 'know your rights' type stuff to make it worthwhile holding on to. but of course we'll keep it under review, we're not martyrs who want yo get up early and give out prop for the hell if it.

Devrim
Oct 28 2009 15:35
Quote:
The marginal cost of tabloids is negligible once the initial setup costs are paid, hence why it's free.

Surely only if you are printing a huge amount, which you can do with a national organisation distributing it. We only have two branches. Also we can't print on tabloid without legal permission, so it is more difficult for us.

Quote:
Now it's not an either/or, but to be honest the people on demos usually aren't very interested in our politics because there's a large and well-established leftist/activist ghetto in Brighton from which demo attendees are drawn (outside of upsurges in protest like the anti-war movement).

On workers' demos in Turkey you get a lot of people who aren't in that sort of scene. Also for leftist demos the trade unions will mobilise their members and get people out unlike they do in Britain. Maybe it is also connected to the size of the cities our groups are in. Ankara by far the smallest has a population of about 4.5 million, whilst İstanbul has upwards of 15 million.

Quote:
In any case it's not mutually exclusive and we do hand them out at demos, put them in lefty/activist places etc, but our politics aren't aimed at the left.

I have only read one of your articles so far, but it seemed in a pretty similar style to the way we would write about industrial disputes. Of course you want to aim at workers in struggle, but I don't think there is anything wrong with addressing yourself to the left too. We have a paper and a theoretical journal, and they serve different, and, hopefully, complementary roles.

Quote:
The limited feedback so far from non-politicos has been good, and if people are happy to flick through the metro while commuting I see no reason we can't create something just as readable with our politics in it,

I am not criticising here. I am just genuinely concerned about a 'cost benefit analysis'. We have had people in our organisation talk about doing similar things. Of course, you can give out endless copies, particularly when you are talking about the size of the cities we are. I just wonder if it is the best way to spend our resources, which of course are limited like those of all revolutionary groups.

Devrim

Joseph Kay
Oct 28 2009 16:57
Devrim wrote:
Surely only if you are printing a huge amount, which you can do with a national organisation distributing it. We only have two branches. Also we can't print on tabloid without legal permission, so it is more difficult for us.

yeah i guess, it's one of the benefits of being part of a national organisation. mind you without having the numbers to hand, i know printing 7,000 of the 8-page tabloid only cost about £70 more than printing 3,500 4-page A4, so it's a bit of a no-brainer for us. obviously if there's legal obstacles that changes things somewhat.

Devrim wrote:
On workers' demos in Turkey you get a lot of people who aren't in that sort of scene. Also for leftist demos the trade unions will mobilise their members and get people out unlike they do in Britain. Maybe it is also connected to the size of the cities our groups are in. Ankara by far the smallest has a population of about 4.5 million, whilst İstanbul has upwards of 15 million.

like i say we do leaflet/distro at demos, but - and this is perhaps peculiar to brighton - it's usually the same faces from the lefty/activist scene (outside of wider protest movements like the anti-war stuff). the last trade union march was 75% SWP, they hired trains and bussed in their student sections from around the country.

Devrim wrote:
I have only read one of your articles so far, but it seemed in a pretty similar style to the way we would write about industrial disputes. Of course you want to aim at workers in struggle, but I don't think there is anything wrong with addressing yourself to the left too. We have a paper and a theoretical journal, and they serve different, and, hopefully, complementary roles.

yeah the new Catalyst opens up a discussion about the role of DA (SolFed's magazine, for anyone who doesn't know). thing is i think lefties and anarchists will be interested in the paper anyway because of the content, so targetting it at angry/struggling workers doesn't sacrifice anything imho. i think DA should be more aimed at lefties, anarchists, militant trade unionists and the like, with a more analytical/theoretical slant aiming to win people to our strategy (it's a bit of a mixture at the moment, but does this already to an extent).

Devrim wrote:
I am not criticising here. I am just genuinely concerned about a 'cost benefit analysis'. We have had people in our organisation talk about doing similar things. Of course, you can give out endless copies, particularly when you are talking about the size of the cities we are. I just wonder if it is the best way to spend our resources, which of course are limited like those of all revolutionary groups.

like i say the marginal cost is negligible, so as long as we don't mind giving up an hour every issue to distro it costs us little more than the old A4 one. personally i was surprised by how cheap it is, we might even go full colour for the next one.

knightrose
Oct 28 2009 17:05

The AF also distros Resistance at places like train stations - though we tend to do it in the evening smile people going on to trains are used to being given free stuff to read, We often see them having a look in the paper as they are walking along. I'd say it's worth the effort, but you have to keep going back to the same places at the same times every month.

Devrim
Oct 31 2009 13:37
Quote:
yeah i guess, it's one of the benefits of being part of a national organisation.

Yes, we have a nation wide organisation. We just only have two branches so far smile
Actually though the two cities we have members in include nearly a third of the population.

Quote:
obviously if there's legal obstacles that changes things somewhat.

Yes, there are two problems I think about. Firstly would it be effective and justify the expense, and secondly would our members get arrested doing it.

Devrim