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Sheffield Anarchist Bookfair July 12th

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Theft's picture
Theft
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Jul 9 2014 07:33
Sheffield Anarchist Bookfair July 12th

Sat 12th July 10am-6pm at Showroom Workstation

The Workshops

11am-12.00 Avoiding arrest
Getting arrested is no joke. If you think you might one day run the risk of being arrested, find out what to do in that situation. You can massively reduce the risk of prison, fines, community service etc. You owe it to yourself and your friends to wise up.

11am-12.00 Stop NATO
A talk on the anti-NATO mobilisation following with a discussion led by Stop NATO Cymru. The next summit of NATO is due to be held in September, at Newport, South Wales.
12.00-1pm Capitalism and Distress: Causes, Consequences, Solutions?
Discussion of people’s experiences of distress and alienation as a result of living and working under Capitalism. People will have the opportunity to share experiences they feel comfortable with in small groups. Also looking at existing ways of helping, and for the future asking what services we want to assist those who experience distress.

12.00-1pm Online Security for Activists post Snowden
Sysadmins from Webarchitects Co-operative will present an overview of the threats facing progressive activists from criminal, corporate and state surveillance, followed by an open discussion of mitigation steps.
20 USB flash memory sticks with Tails, https://tails.boum.org will be given out at the meeting.
Background reading:
Encryption Works: How to Protect Your Privacy in the Age of NSA Surveillance
The CryptoParty Handbook
Practical Security Handbook

1pm-2pm England’s Forgotten Revolution
The events of the English Civil War were more than a struggle between King and Parliament. In reality it represented an uprising of the English people as riots in London and the rebellion of ordinary people inflicted the first defeats on the Royalists, leading to the rise of the Levellers, Diggers and Ranters.

1pm-2pm Introduction to the IWW
This meeting will consist of an introductory presentation and discussion about the aims, principles and history of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a revolutionary union which seeks to overthrow the employing class and abolish the wage system.

2pm-3pm IWW Organizer Strategy Taster Session
An exciting opportunity to learn about workplace tactics used by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a revolutionary union which seeks to overthrow the employing class and abolish the wage system.
Receive a basic training session on how to apply techniques to your own workplace to start the fightback against the bosses, delivered by workplace organizers from IWW Sheffield Branch.

2pm-3pm Housing: the Radical Routes way
What it's like to live in a Radical Routes housing co-op and intentional community. A talk, Q&A/discussion with a co-operator who's lived in small co-ops in Leeds and Swansea. Radical Routes is a network of co-ops and individuals seeking to reject the forces of greed, capitalism and materialism by taking control over our housing, education and work.

3pm-4pm What would a popular Left be like?
What would it take to leave the margins and make Left ideas and action popular. And are there some forms of a popular Left that wouldn’t be desirable? A talk and discussion led by Plan C.

3pm-4pm Bakunin
"Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice, socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality"
To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Russian anarchist, Mikhail Bakunin, the Anarchist Federation present a talk by Nick Heath on his life and relevance to the movement for revolutionary social change today. Copies of the Anarchist Federation's pamphlet 'Basic Bakunin' will be on sale at the bookfair.

4pm-5pm WW1 – The First World War
It's the 100th anniversary of the first great imperialist slaughter, 1914. The 1964 anniversary was greeted with anti-war sentiment but in 2014, militarism is rising, military charities mushroom, and the nature of war changes to remote assassination. Last year’s Olympics nationalistic orgy shows the ruling class want celebration, not reflection. Wouldn't it make sense to revive the idea of “No war but the class war” amongst revolutionary groups of today? Rules without Rulers
The book launch of Rules without Rulers: The Possibilities and Limits of Anarchism (Zero Books) by author Matthew Wilson.
Sat 12th July 10am-6pm at Showroom Workstation

STALLS
The following stalls will be at Sheffield Anarchist Bookfair 2014

Active Distribution
Afed (Anarchist Federation)
Afem conference
AFN (Anti-Fascist Network)
AK Press
Anarchist Studies
Black Daffodil
Corporate Watch
CWO
Dysophia
Free Communist
Freedom
Haven
Huddersfield Anarchist League
IWW (Industrial Workers of the World)
LaDIYfest
News from Nowhere
Northern Herald Books
PM Press
Radical Routes
Solfed
Sparrows Nest
Stop NATO Cymru
Strikemag (latest issue: strikemag.org/portfolio/july-august-2014)
5 Leaves Bookshop

For further info see https://sheffieldbookfair.org.uk/

Spikymike
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Jul 9 2014 10:22

So Plan C are probably drawing on their members in Manchester and Leeds for the Sheffield meeting they are hosting. It's often difficult to be certain as to what, if any any, consistent core politics are shared accross the different groups beyond some early influences from a variety of 'autonomous marxism' and a desire to promote a dialogue accross the variety of disident left wing groups.

I have shared some of my views based on attending Manchester meetings here:
http://libcom.org/library/capitalist-realism-renewed

I missed the AF Bakunin meeting in Manchester but being familiar with the AF's politics I might still prefer to sus out what Plan C have to say given my general inclination towards distinguishing communist analysis and strategy from that of 'the Left'. Still I will take the opportunity here to mention this text from a Marxist influenced group which covers some of the common ground between Marx and Bakunin as opposed to the assumed usual differences (though I'm not recomending all this groups politics):
http://www.gci-icg.org/english/freepopstate.htm

It's good to see some promotion comming from the Marxist side of our milieu for discussion around the First World War in relation to the current spread of Wars around the World and for co-operation amongst all internationalists around the 'No War but the Class War' theme.

But to draw a critical line accross all of the above this is worth a mention:
http://libcom.org/library/marxism-dead-long-live-marxism-mike-rooke

Spikymike
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Jul 11 2014 08:58

This event starts tomorrow - Saturday 12th July - short walk from Railway and Bus stations.

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Jul 11 2014 12:12
Theft wrote:
Quote:
What would a popular Left be like?
What would it take to leave the margins and make Left ideas and action popular. And are there some forms of a popular Left that wouldn’t be desirable? A talk and discussion led by Plan C.

Anyone know which Plan C group is doing this?

From the blurp it sounds positively awful.

Although I might use different terminology to Plan C, if I've got the right end of the stick here, then it's a discussion that needs to be had, given that many anarcho/libertarian/left communists have a tendency to be a bit obscure and are often disconnected from the wider class.

Spikymike
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Jul 14 2014 13:57

I think there is always a problem with these short one hour 'workshop' sessions (often shorter in practice) at this and similar bookfairs.
So for instance the 'first world war' one was well presented by a member of the ICT/CWO, and although with a reasonable turn-out was mostly made up of people like myself from the broadly left/council/libertarian communist milieu that had already a strong measure of agreement on the basics, resulting in an initially silent response to requests for contributions and just a short mutually agreed approach to the politics of 'anti-imperialism'. By contrast the Plan C slot starting with a reasonable introduction and some open-ended questions to the packed meeting of people from a much wider selection of political backgrounds, from the full spectrum of anarchism through to trotskyism, left communism and others, just ended up all over the place to, I suspect, a disapointed Plan C organiser. This perhaps makes a case for some other forms of properly organised and a bit more focussed and in-depth discussion which still cuts accross, and can attract, the diversity of political approaches we most commonly find on this site? I've seen a few day conference style efforts in the past organised by anarchist groups in Edinburgh and Glasgow and some MDF events but little else which would fit this bill outside of some smaller local events.
The short bookfair 'workshops' are perhaps best suited only to introductory taster sessions which are not to ambitious in scope though some of the longer ones as at the London bookfair have more potential.

Not sure how the other workshops went apart from a practically orientated one on co-ops which however only attracted 4 people.

Of course I realise that many of us find these events more important as a political-come social catch up event with like-minded comrades than anything else, so perhaps there is no easy way of satisfying everyones interest by some simple restructuring of the event?

Others might like to provide some feedback.

Tarquin
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Jul 14 2014 19:54
Quote:
Others might like to provide some feedback.

I wasn't there as I attended AFed's Bakunin talk at the same time but there is a pretty damning report from the Plan C meeting here

http://itisiwhowillit.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/sheffield-anarchist-bookf...

I enjoyed the Bakunin talk. It was well prepared and interesting. Surprising in places too, like his relationship with Wagner. Unfortunately it suffered a very low turn out but it was recorded by indymedia so should pop up there if people want to give it a listen. I'll post a link back here if I see it to spare people having to check wink Unfortunately their new pamphlet “Basic Bakunin” hadn't been put together in time for the bookfair.

The only other workshop I attended was SolFed on wage theft. A good talk through recent SF campaigns. It was particularly refreshing to hear a group put some serious focus on problems they had come across and unexpected consequences of their actions rather than just what they have achieved, though I was obviously well impressed with that too. This meeting had a much better attendance than the Bakunin talk but I don't think there were many non SF members there which was a real shame considering the effort they'd gone to to get people from there to talk about what their own locals where doing.

On the bookfair itself it was much smaller than I expected. Smaller than Manchester but probably less vegan/sabbing/punk stalls so maybe compatible once you factor that in. Some of the books were pretty pricey particularly AK Press (£16 for a little paper back!) but luckily I prefer books on aliens to books on alienation cos I'm lazy and there were a few interesting pamphlets knocking about on stalls like the Free Communist's to pick up cheap.

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Jul 14 2014 20:34
Tarquin wrote:
I wasn't there as I attended AFed's Bakunin talk at the same time but there is a pretty damning report from the Plan C meeting here

http://itisiwhowillit.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/sheffield-anarchist-bookf...

You know, I'll never get back the minutes lost reading that report. I actually wanted to stab myself in the eye while I read it sad

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Jul 15 2014 00:17

Is that blog from the person who wanted to 'kill all men' at the last London bookfair?

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jonthom
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Jul 15 2014 09:19
Serge Forward wrote:
Tarquin wrote:
I wasn't there as I attended AFed's Bakunin talk at the same time but there is a pretty damning report from the Plan C meeting here

http://itisiwhowillit.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/sheffield-anarchist-bookf...

You know, I'll never get back the minutes lost reading that report. I actually wanted to stab myself in the eye while I read it :(

confused what exactly is your issue with it?

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Jul 15 2014 14:38

Where's the report on the meeting itself? It just seems to be the setting for an argument that was had. confused

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Serge Forward
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Jul 15 2014 11:08
jonthom wrote:
confused what exactly is your issue with it?

It's shit.

Spikymike
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Jul 15 2014 13:38

Well I did say that the Plan C discussion slot was 'all over the place' , but the linked report doesn't represent a fair and ballanced picture of the different contributions, and it's author must take at least some small share of the responsibillity for that outcome.

Fleur
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Jul 15 2014 15:23

JoeMaguire

Quote:
Is that blog from the person who wanted to 'kill all men' at the last London bookfair?

You know that the "kill all men" thing is a satire? It's a joke, an in-joke, but it's not a serious call to arms to eliminate half the species. It's got MRAs and Infowars frothing at the mouth but nobody actually is actually advocating the killing of men. Well, Valerie Solanas did but it never really gathered much traction.

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Jul 15 2014 19:19
Fleur wrote:
JoeMaguire

Quote:
Is that blog from the person who wanted to 'kill all men' at the last London bookfair?

You know that the "kill all men" thing is a satire? It's a joke, an in-joke, but it's not a serious call to arms to eliminate half the species. It's got MRAs and Infowars frothing at the mouth but nobody actually is actually advocating the killing of men. Well, Valerie Solanas did but it never really gathered much traction.

Are we talking about the same incident? Because regardless of whether it's serious or otherwise, its odd behaviour, and if I can misread its tone (not intent), fuck knows what the uninitiated thought of it. If one thing really pisses me off about anarchism, it's people speaking to each other in specialised language and with sub-cultural baggage that means almost fuck all to anyone else. That incident, that blog report....

Fleur
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Jul 16 2014 01:02

If someone wants to start a thread on the Kill All Men trope then I'd be happy to throw my two cents in but not in this thread.

I wasn't at either event but it seems to me, even from a long way away, whenever Ciaron O'Reilly, his rapey rat-snitch friend and their loyal band of Assange groupies turn up, they harass women and are generally a bloody nuisance. They're bullies and people often react to bullies with anger. So if someone was abused by O'Reilly and friends at the London bookfair and wrote about it and tagged it with Kill All Men, then it would be a sentiment that a lot of women recognize. It doesn't actually, literally, mean kill all men, it's an expression which has a history and connotations around it. And it's a joke and like a lot of jokes I guess you have to be in on it to find it funny.

As for specialized language, all sub-cultures have it, not just anarchists, it's pretty unavoidable. There's stuff I do which have nothing to do with politics and when I'm talking about it with my friends it must be incomprehensible (and as boring as hell) to the uninitiated.

radicalgraffiti
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Jul 16 2014 01:35

Feminist claim they don't really want to kill all men, but if that's the case why do they have a secret bioengineering lab where they have developed a form of smallpox that only infects people with a Y chromosome?

Fleur
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Jul 16 2014 01:46

Yorick? Am I going to have to send the girls around to deal with you?

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Steven.
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Jul 16 2014 07:43
JoeMaguire wrote:
Are we talking about the same incident? Because regardless of whether it's serious or otherwise, its odd behaviour, and if I can misread its tone (not intent), fuck knows what the uninitiated thought of it. If one thing really pisses me off about anarchism, it's people speaking to each other in specialised language and with sub-cultural baggage that means almost fuck all to anyone else. That incident, that blog report....

yeah, mate I'm not a Twitter person, however I'm pretty sure that anyone who has ever said "kill all men" didn't mean it, and I would have thought this should be pretty obvious…

Anyway, we are getting off the subject. This thread was about the Sheffield anarchist bookfair, how about let's get back to that and keep things polite

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Jul 16 2014 09:04

The 'kill all men' discussion is a bit of a red herring. Maybe the question should be, why do anarchist bookfairs and the anarchist movement in general seem to attract and even act as a haven for flakes like the assangites, various tantrumists, the obscure, the abstract, the sub-cultural and the clearly batshit? One thing about that ludicrous blog that was right is, the anarchist movement 'needs to sort itsfuckingself out' sad

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Jul 16 2014 09:08

Just to make a couple of short points as I know those involved in Sheffield Bookfair Collective.
First the collective didn't organise any of the meetings they just arranged the times and room, groups or individuals did, if you want a meeting related to something to do with social oppression, get off your own ass and put one on yourself.

Who is the women’s library, who had the Julie Bindel book right next to ‘Queering Anarchism' on it, I don't see it on the list so I'm going guess it was a book seller or maybe LaDIYfest? So they had a book that was shit on there table one thing that is clear is that this person didn't challenge them.
Maybe a book burning event would be better suited to this person?

The whole religion stuff is simply crazy nonsense, but crazy nonsense that is gaining ground in some circles.

As for the first bit where this person stood outside the bookfair polluting my air with there cigs wink , are we really suggesting anyone who belongs to a trot group like SPEW, AWL or SWP should be banned from Bookfairs? Does this stuff hold for all time? If so are also going ban groups and all there individual members that say once had shit views on LGBT stuff?

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Jul 16 2014 11:25
Theft wrote:
The whole religion stuff is simply crazy nonsense, but crazy nonsense that is gaining ground in some circles.

Was that the bit that said those who oppose religion are some sort of white supremacist? See, totally fucking batshit. #purgetheanarchistmovementnow

Battlescarred
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Jul 16 2014 11:28

Tell that to my Iraqi Kurd comrade and friend who loathes all the reactionary religions including Islam.

Battlescarred
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Jul 16 2014 11:48

So are we to say that BanglaDeshi secularists are minions of white supremacy? Groups like Nirmul Committee (International Forum for Secular Bangladesh)ICT Support Forum, Gonojagoron Moncho, Awami League, Muktijoddha Sangsad, Bangladesh Workers Party, Bangladesh Socialist Party, Communist Party of Bangladesh, National Socialist Party of Bangladesh, and the National Awami Party?
IN the past secularism was still strong amidst the Bengali community in Tower Hamlets and elsewhere. A number of factors over the last decade or two means that Islamism has strenghthened irs hand in TH to the detriment of secuarism. One of those factors has to be the accomodation of the SWP and other leftists, particularly through Stop the War and Respect to the Islamists. Rather than support secularist currents within Bengali communities many Trots gave succour to this reactionary current. We should NOT do the same.

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Jul 16 2014 11:48

[Re. daft blogger;] Yeh, it's great the support such views give to the struggles against religious conservatism - struggles often led by risk-taking women. But all those people over there are one big homogenous cultural mass, right, and we have to support that abstract patronising view of them cos we're against cultural imperialism, right?

Battlescarred
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Jul 16 2014 12:28

I know nothing about Bindel. Enlighten me.

Battlescarred
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Jul 16 2014 12:33

So it's Ok to stop the crew around O'Reilly and Catholic Worker -by the way I detest this lot myself- who pose as a religious group, but not oppose other religious groups? Inconsistent perhaps?

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Jul 16 2014 12:51

That Bindel sounds like a right bag of shite. But why is it particularly getting singled out? I've seen some truly depresing stuff touted at various anarchist bookfairs with hardly any of the same kerfuffle.

radicalgraffiti
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Jul 16 2014 14:16

obviously being opposed to religion is not racist, opposition to religion has been an important part of the anarchist movement in the past for good reason, and is likely to be in the future in places where religion has significant influence in society, but there is a point to be made regarding how its expressed.
Mostly if anarchists mention religion at all its in vary simplistic "religion is stupid lol" terms which really have nothing to distinguish them from Dawkinite new atheists.
There is really no modern anarchist literature on the issues associated with religion.

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Jul 16 2014 23:45

I don't know what a Dawkinite new atheist is but I do know that anyone who bases their life on the belief in the existence of a magic man who lives in the sky needs to give their fucking head a serious wobble.

Unfortunately, thanks to the likes of the SWP, Respect, trendy lefts, liberals and identity politicos, there's too much pussyfooting with religious nonsense. #anarchocommunistfundamentalism

snipfool
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Jul 17 2014 06:19

I think this is worth a read and expands on what radical graffiti was saying http://piercepenniless.tumblr.com/post/57779541776/marx-contra-dawkins

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Jul 17 2014 09:03

Fair enough, I can't fault the sentiments expressed in that article, snipfool, but all this bending over backwards to accommodate religion is downright reactionary. To accuse those opposed to religion of some kind of racism or being white supremacists is more fucked up doublthink.