Anarchist groups in the West Midlands

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Armchair Anarchist's picture
Armchair Anarchist
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Jan 9 2009 11:29
Anarchist groups in the West Midlands

Hi

Does anyone know if there are any anarchist groups in West Mids (pref. Birmingham)? I know there used to be a solfed local and but I think this is now defunct.

TIA.

nastyned
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Jan 9 2009 11:34

You can contact Birmingham AF at: birmingham @ afed.org.uk

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Armchair Anarchist
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Jan 9 2009 11:48
nastyned wrote:
You can contact Birmingham AF at: birmingham @ afed.org.uk

Brilliant, cheers.

Beltov
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Jan 9 2009 12:54

There used to be a 'West Midlands Anarchists' group a few years ago but it fell apart after the main organiser left town. Last I heard he (WeTheYouth) had joined the CPGB's youth wing...

The ICC has public forums in Digbeth every three months. Next one is on Feb 14th. You're more than welcome, if you can get out of your armchair wink

B.

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Jan 19 2009 23:05
Beltov wrote:
The ICC has public forums in Digbeth every three months. Next one is on Feb 14th. You're more than welcome, if you can get out of your armchair wink

B.

That's not too far from me so might be able to prise myself out of the armchair for that one smile. Apologies for the stupid question but what's the difference between left communism and anarchist communism? Thanks.

nastyned
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Jan 20 2009 09:20

Left communists are authoriarian Marxists who believe in centralisation and the need for a vanguard party.

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georgestapleton
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Jan 20 2009 16:35

There's a West Midlands branch of Liberty and Solidarity that meets in Birmingham.

There's an anarchist group in Warwick University in Coventry.

Though not anarchist, there is a West Midlands branch of the IWW in Birmingham. The IWW is actually meeting tomorrow.

I'm in all of these so PM me if you are interested. Actually fuck it I'll PM you.

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Devrim
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Jan 20 2009 18:05
nastyned wrote:
Left communists are authoriarian Marxists who believe in centralisation and the need for a vanguard party.

I thought that left communism was more consistently anti-state than most of what passes for anarchism nowadays. Could be my mistake though.

Devrim

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Jan 21 2009 11:20
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Left communists are authoriarian Marxists who believe in centralisation and the need for a vanguard party.

So now Pannekoek and Gorter are authoritarian Marxists? Even if this was true of the ICC, it's certainly not true of "left communism" as a whole.

As for the ICC itself, yes, it believes in a "centralised" party but there's nothing authoritarian about that - simply that they agree together what will be done and then do it. This is what they say about the role of the party:

"The revolutionary political organisation constitutes the vanguard of the working class and is an active factor in the generalisation of class consciousness within the proletariat. Its role is neither to ‘organise the working class’ nor to ‘take power’ in its name, but to participate actively in the movement towards the unification of struggles, towards workers taking control of them for themselves, and at the same time to draw out the revolutionary political goals of the proletariat’s combat."

nastyned
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Jan 21 2009 19:47

Why are you putting centralised in inverted commas when it's a central part of the ICC politics? As is authoritarianism and I find it bizrre you're trying to claim otherwise.

Also I don't agree with the ICCs method of lumping together council communists and left communists as being one and the same. They're obviously not. Pannekoek and Gorter broke completely with Bolshevism and become council communists, neither of these things can be said of the ICC.

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miles
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Jan 21 2009 21:51
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Why are you putting centralised in inverted commas when it's a central part of the ICC politics?

Maybe you should brush up on your English grammar - he put the word in quote marks, i.e. that woz wot u sed.

Quote:
As is authoritarianism and I find it bizrre you're trying to claim otherwise.

Did you actually read Demo's post? Or did your jerking knee automatically tap out the response? Once again:

Quote:
Its role is neither to ‘organise the working class’ nor to ‘take power’ in its name, but to participate actively in the movement towards the unification of struggles, towards workers taking control of them for themselves
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888
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Jan 22 2009 06:47
nastyned wrote:
Left communists are authoriarian Marxists who believe in centralisation and the need for a vanguard party.

No, they are communists who believe circulating bulletins is the only permissible action, since actually acting in your own interests is impossible, and any attempts to do so are in reality 'voluntarism' or 'substitutionism'.

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jef costello
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Jan 22 2009 07:03
miles wrote:
Maybe you should brush up on your English grammar - he put the word in quote marks, i.e. that woz wot u sed.

Quotation marks. angry

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miles
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Jan 22 2009 10:02
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Quotation marks.

I can see what kind of a teacher you'd be tongue

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Demogorgon303
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Jan 22 2009 11:08
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No, they are communists who believe circulating bulletins is the only permissible action, since actually acting in your own interests is impossible, and any attempts to do so are in reality 'voluntarism' or 'substitutionism'.

I'm not sure I understand this. Can you give examples?

raw
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Jan 23 2009 01:07

so some one asks a question about getting involved in the anarchist movement and they inadvertently walk into another pointless argument. Surely he/she can make they own mind up. I'm sure 5 min in an ICC meeting is enough! :-0)

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Demogorgon303
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Jan 23 2009 08:32
Quote:
so some one asks a question about getting involved in the anarchist movement and they inadvertently walk into another pointless argument. Surely he/she can make they own mind up. I'm sure 5 min in an ICC meeting is enough! :-0)

As you say, 5 minutes in an ICC meeting should be enough to show what they're really like. There shouldn't be a need to spread disinformation about them (and the whole left communist movement for that matter).

nastyned
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Jan 23 2009 11:09

It's a fact that "Left communists are authoriarian Marxists who believe in centralisation and the need for a vanguard party".

nastyned
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Jan 23 2009 11:09

It's a fact that "Left communists are authoriarian Marxists who believe in centralisation and the need for a vanguard party".

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Devrim
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Jan 23 2009 11:12

I am not sure what 'authoritarian' even means. I presume that it doesn't imply pro-state as the communist left is more consistantly anti-state than many anarchists today. Really what does it mean?
Devrim

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Alf
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Jan 23 2009 22:41

And according to 888, it's a also fact that we are so anti-authoritarian that we can't get involved in anything but putting out literature for fear of substituting ourselves for the class

slothjabber
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Feb 20 2009 00:18

The Midlands Discussion Forum - also not anarchist but which has included over its 9 years of existence anarchists, situationists, socialists, left communists and council communists - is meeting in Digbeth on 25 April; the meeting is entitled "How can the working class respond to the current economic crisis?" and we've invited a range of speakers. We're hoping for a lively debate to which you're most welcome (as is anyone else who wishes to come).

For further info please contact midlandsdf@yahoo.co.uk

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Mar 7 2009 22:14

Out of interest what sort of speakers have you invited, how wide was the 'range' and who has responded.
Devrim

slothjabber
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Mar 8 2009 13:19

We're still waiting for most organisations to reply to our invitation, but those we have invited are: AF from all Midlands branches we could find, ditto the IWW and SolFed; the CBG, IBRP, ICC, IP, PCInt (Il Partito) and PCInt (Lotta Communista); the SPGB; the West Midlands Anarchists, Warwickshire Anarchists, Northampton Socialist Forum, Exeter Discussion Group, the Commune, and the Libcom collective.

And of course anyone who wishes can come along too.

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Mar 9 2009 07:09

It seems a weird mix to me, slothjabber. The SPGB, for example, has a very different view on the parliamentary question for example from many of the others. It will be interesting to see how the anarchists react to the Bordigists too.

How did you decide on it?

Devrim

slothjabber
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Mar 9 2009 16:56

Somewhat haphazardly to be honest. More time, effort and research would have produced, perhaps, a different list, but I'm not sure that more or less the same spread of ideas wouldn't be on display. It wasn't just spin when I said it was a range.

The MDF doesn't have a particular political line, but all the current participants a pretty firmly opposed to capitalism's wars, and also firmly in favour of the self-organisation of the working class. We're also committed to discussion of the histiory and politics of the working lcass.

So any organisation that more or less fitted how we defined those concepts was on the list. The fact that few of those organisations would regard each other as fitting those criteria didn't really concern us. We're not trying to find organisations that fit the ICC's criteria or the AF's criteria or even the SPGB's criteria.

Truth to tell, we've had SPGB members come in an official capacity, and SPGB sympathisers in an unofficial capacity, to our meetings before, and have had some interesting discussions with them.

I hope that a good number of these organisations will respond and come along; the resulting discussions I think should be very interesting indeed.