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Soph173
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Joined: 24-05-11
May 24 2011 08:56
Tell me more

Hi there,

My name's Sophie and I'm a journalism student at the Univeristy of Sheffield.

I'm currently putting a piece together about Anarchism in the UK and it'd be great to get some info and views from some of you.

I was at the tuition fees protest in London in November, and with this and the one in March I found the word anarchy being thrown around a lot. There was a lot of talk that the protest had been 'hijacked' by anarchists and I wasn't convinced really by this assumption and have become more and more interested in anarchy.

I felt that most people, including myself, had stereotyped views of anarchists so my piece is really just looking into anarchism and finding out more. I've not got any 'outsider' views, the piece is just about anarchy from the view of anarchists.

It's just for my coursework so there is no possibility of it being published in any media outlets that you may oppose.

I'd really appreciate it if any of you could share your views and beliefs. The information I'm most short on is how an anarchist society would work, the ideas people have.

My email address is smorgan5@hotmail.co.uk, it'd be great to hear from you.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Harrison
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Joined: 16-11-10
May 24 2011 09:21

hi sophie, you can take a look at the introductions which basically state what people on here broadly agree on
http://libcom.org/library/class-class-struggle-introduction
http://libcom.org/library/basic-principles-revolutionary-organisation

this is also really good,
http://libcom.org/library/introduction-anarchist-communism-anarchist-federation
although it reflects the view of only one anarchist organisation

i think libcom also represents a particular part of the anarchist movement, it also has a lot of anti-authoritarian marxists on it, so we use a broader name ('libertarian communism') to encompass them.

oh, and also we are very careful of predicting how an anarchist society would work! (we have an idea of the generalities, but we don't want to lay out a blueprint, because we theorise that the specifics will have to be worked out by those participating in creating it).

a recent really good example of the kinds of action we seek to do (as opposed to what the papers think we want to do ---- smash shit up), was the recent campaign by Solidarity Federation against a temping agency who mistreated their workers
http://libcom.org/news/solidarity-federation-agency-workers-together-we-can-fight-back-win-16052011

Battlescarred
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Joined: 27-02-06
May 24 2011 09:31

You could also look at Beyond Resistance- manifesto of the Anarchist federation which gives an overview of a future libertaruian society.
Find it at
http://www.afed.org.uk/ace/

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Rob Ray
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May 24 2011 11:22

If you're looking for particular ideas, Black Flag magazine has a series called "Breathing Utopia" where people in different jobs talk about how they'd see their roles and industry change within an anarchist society. A load of back issues are up as PDFs here.

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Arbeiten
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May 24 2011 13:19

yeah people are pretty ignorant as to what anarchism is lulz

I remember after that student march in November having a debate with a friend who went to a less politically active university. There was this idea that if you were a student, you couldn't be an anarchist. From this conversation I garnered that she must have thought anarchists were bogeymen and couldn't comprehend it as a political position.

Also on hindsight, after all the hysteria had calmed down, that protest in November was pretty successful

Soph173
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Joined: 24-05-11
May 24 2011 18:24

Thanks everyone for your help that's great, appreciate it smile

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Arbeiten
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May 24 2011 18:40

oh by the way, i re-read your post and you want a synopsis of 'what an anarchist society might look like'. Well, this is an impossibly massive question (I'm not even sure if its a good question btw, because of its scale). But you should search the site and the forums (specifically the theory section, people are always asking such questions, policing? hospitals? mental institutions? labour productivity etc, etc). Not all of us(?) necessarily view anarchism (or libertarian communism, etc, etc). In such terms as a utopia we are bringing forth. It's more connected with the here and now, rather than planning for later. However I am dubious whether we should really have one, or even a 'small' group of people, dictating what the future might look like. New social forms are produced through struggle, one can;t say in advance what they *will* look like. Obviously we all have our own ideas, but in the context of group work and struggle, these forms change, both our ideas of them, and how they are practiced.

Also I would suggest checking out Kropotkin's work.....

Soph173
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Joined: 24-05-11
May 25 2011 09:38

Okay thanks for your help.

Also, I went to an anarchist book fair the other day, someone had a tattoo on his arm saying "Remember 68", is this an anarchist thing or something unrelated?

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Ellar
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May 25 2011 09:49

The tattoo is referring to the french strikes and youth uprising that ocurred in may 1968, anarchists were involved in the events but it's also just remmebered as a example of working class direct action.

By the way I sent you a email, hopefully it helps a bit.

Soph173
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Joined: 24-05-11
May 25 2011 11:40

Thanks that great.

Was it you that sent the email yesterday? I've emailed you back if so.

If not, I don't think I've received it.

Thanks again smile

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Joseph Kay
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May 26 2011 15:27

There's a big branch of the Anarchist Federation in Sheffield, although they're generally not too keen on talking to journalists - dunno about student journalists though. There's also MASH (Mutual Aid SHeffield), which isn't an anarchist group, but is based on anarchist principles like non-hierarchy and mutual aid. It's probably a good example of the kind of 'constructive' stuff anarchists are involved in on a day-to-day basis, as opposed to the destructive stuff that grabs the headlines on big demonstrations.