The London Anarchist Forum have arranged a talk/discussion with Tim Pendry called "The Current Crisis - A Challenge to the Utopianism in Anarchism". It starts at 7pm this Friday in the main hall at LARC.
I think I have a printed copy somewhere of an issue of Voices of Resistance from Occupied London but this is the first time I have looked at the website.
I feel like I should comment on what is going on in Greece but I don't really know what to say. I know the rioting has spread to many parts of Greece, but I would guess that it has (so far) been less destructive overall than what happened in LA after the Rodney King verdict? And both pale into insignificance when compared to the violence of the State (eg the US "response" to 9/11). So I will just link to today's CrimethInc analysis of Greece and the Insurrections to Come.
The Leeds Mayday Group website has merged/morphed into Freely Associating.
I had a good day out at the Anarchist Bookfair in London on Saturday. This year I did not go to any of the talks but instead split my time between hanging out outside at an unofficial Bicycology stall and the cabaret room downstairs, plus general milling around chatting to people. It was at Queen Mary and Westfield for the second year running but this time some of the stalls were in the Octagon Room, which is psycogeographically interesting, defining as it does the northern end of a significant alignment. I was glad to see Dave Russell in the cabaret room and that he performed his excellent "Bicycle Kid" as an encore. Someone I spoke to was full of enthusiasm for an event due to take place in Docklands on Halloween - Dancing on the Grave of Capitalism. I also bumped in to a woman I know who wants to organise something at the Rollright Stones for the Winter Solstice. She had a copy of a DVD called Standing With Stones and I told her about Julian Cope's excellent tome The Modern Antiquarian. She asked if I would be willing to take my copy (plus my copy of The Old Straight Track by Alfred Watkins) to a gathering she is thinking of organising, possibly at the home of Greg Sams. What has all this got to do with Anarchism? Perhaps nothing but that is the great thing about the Bookfair - you can make all sorts of bizarre connections there. Afterwards I delivered a tandem to Bermondsey, went for a curry in Whitechapel, then hung out at an after party at Freedom for a bit before catching the train home.
I bookmarked Dissident Island Radio on del.icio.us some time ago and then promptly forgot about it. I must try to remember to tune in to their next show.
The Uri Gordon event I mentioned in my last entry will take place at Housmans (King's Cross) from 6-8pm on August 25th.
Uri Gordon, author of Anarchy Alive, is doing a European book tour and had just done the final continental date before heading over to the UK. On August 25th he will be in London at yet to be decided location - the London Anarchist forum has offered to host the event.
I noticed and interview with someone I know published on Infoshop News - A History of Squatting in the UK.
Last week, a lone bicyclist left an explosive device at an army recruiting centre in New York City's Times Square, damaging the windows and entryway. It is widely suspected that this is the same bicyclist who targeted the Mexican consulate with an explosive device last year on the anniversary of Brad Will's murder by Mexican government officials. No one was injured in either event.
The above paragraph introduces a Crimethinc blog entry which also has a link to a PDF of a scandalous sticker supporting the bicycle bomber.
There will be a UK national squatters meeting in Leeds on February 9th and 10th.
A complete transcription of Instead of a Book, By a Man too Busy to Write One by Benjamin Tucker now exists here at the Fair Use Repository.
Only two days till the London Anarchist Bookfair. On Friday night at 6pm there will be an event for the launch of Mayday magazine in Housmans Bookshop. I don't plan to be there because I will be on Halloween Critical Mass. However, depending where I am staying I might go to a pre-bookfair social after the Mass at the Cross Kings pub just up the road from Housmans (from 9pm onwards).
Niomi Daley, the British hip-hop star better known as Ms Dynamite, travelled to her ancestral land Jamaica to make a documentary about slaves who fought back, as part of the BBC's season marking Britain's abolition of the slave trade.
Faced with the threat of closure, workers at the Nordhausen bike factory in Germany have occupied the premises and are rapidly approaching the target of 1,800 orders for the Strike Bike, at which point they plan to start up production as a worker controlled factory.
Steve Ash will be giving a talk on "Anarchism and Historical Piracy" on September 27th at 7pm in the foyer of the Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1. This has be organised by the London Anarchist Forum, and the talk will hopefully be followed by a lively discussion.
I am already looking forward to this year's annual Anarchist Bookfair which has moved to a new, larger venue at Queen Mary University. Mark it in your diary - Saturday October 27rd.
The Manifesto Club is a youth club for Young Libertarians.
WANC now has its own website.
Someone posted to the smygo list about Lemmy from Motorhead, presumably because he is quoted as saying "I'm essentially an anarchist". See The Oldest Rocker in Town.
Why is anarchism different than authoritarian socialism? This page provides information on the ISO (International Socialist Organization), as well as some critical analysis of Trotskyism, Trotskyist organizations, and other authoritarian Left tendencies.
Welcome to Official-Anarchism©. An anarchist is a person who completely conforms to official anarchism as contained within this official anarchist site.
I made it to the LAF talk on Saturday and there was a good discussion. The speaker recorded the session on cassette and then digitised it and uploaded it to his site but the audio quality is very poor. Listening to it made me realise that I waffle far too much - I must learn to be more concise:-)
Last week I went along to a meeting organised by the London Group of the Anarchist Federation at Marchmont Community Centre. This was the first of a series of meetings on anarchist theory and it started out with a guy giving a good talk titled "What is Anarchism?". There were about fifteen people there, enough to get a lively discussion going after the talk.
On Saturday I might go to a 3pm talk and discussion at Freedom Press organised by the London Anarchist Forum, titled "Political Linguistics - Take Back the Language".
From the IAA website:
The Institute for Applied Autonomy (IAA) was founded in 1998 as a technological research and development organization dedicated to the cause of individual and collective self-determination. Our mission is to study the forces and structures which affect self-determination and to provide technologies which extend the autonomy of human activists.
Jeff Monson is a world renowned submission wrestler and MMA fighter with a 22-6-1 record. He has a Master's Degree in psychology and describes himself as an anarchist.
The recent UK Social Centres meeting in Bradford has led to some renewed activity, and there is now a good website.
NASHUA (AP) -- Though their efforts to get 20,000 liberty-minded people to move to New Hampshire has slowed, organizers of the Free State Project aren't giving up.
The London group of the Anarchist Federation is holding a public meeting on "What is Anarchism?" at 7pm on Thursday February 8th at Marchmont Community Centre, Marchmont Street, London WC1.
The www.freedompress.org.uk website is still down, or rather it redirects to a non existent URL at libcom.org.uk. This was pointed out in November on the "Freedom Press" forum at libcom.org and on November 10th someone said "Yeah it's being sorted out atm, might take a few more days like". Interesting definition of "a few":-) Someone else has just pointed out that the site is actually available at the moment on freedom.libcom.org.uk but that may well be temporary - eventually it should reappear at the "official" URL.
I recently watched "V for Vendetta" and although I understand that it departed from the original graphic novel in some important ways I would still recommend it.
Affinities is a web-based journal that focuses on groups, movements, and communities that set out to construct sustainable alternatives to the racist, hetero-sexist system of liberal-capitalist nation-states. The first issue, on the theme of Autonomous Spaces, is now available,
In September last year I mentioned that there had been a proposal to hold another social centres gathering on December 9th. Well that was actually rescheduled for January 27th and it is definitely going ahead. It will be from 10am to 7pm at the 1 in 12 Club in Bradford. Here is a poster for it.
I didn't report on it when it was kicking off, but here is a belated mention of Ungdomshuset in Copenhagen, which is still occupied by activists fighting for their right to continue to use the building. Ungdomshuset has been in use as a social centre for young people since 1982.
The Wombles are asking people to review this list of radical anti-authoritarian anti-capitalist social centres in the UK and submit any additions or corrections to adminwombles at hotmail dot co dot uk.
Aaron Swartz is a very smart young geek who has recently become rather rich by selling his little creation called Reddit. He also seems to be an anarchist at heart - check out his recent blog entry The Politics of Wikis.
In an exclusive interview with the Star Weekend Magazine, Michael Albert, economist, editor of ZNet and co-editor of Z magazine, talks about Islamic extremism and new revolutionary theories.
Duncan Campbell writes in The Guardian about the launch by Stewart Christie of the new Anarchist Film Channel.
Michael Albert, born in 1947, is an author and political activist of the anarchist-syndicalist movement, living in Boston (Massachusetts / USA). He is editor of the Internet platform "ZNet" as well as co-editor and co-founder of the political Z Magazine, where for example Noam Chomsky and Uri Avnery publish. Here he is interviewed by Kritische Masse.
I enjoyed the Bookfair today and saw a load of people that I hadn't seen since last year's event. I described it to someone as being the Anarchist equivalent of Ascot:-) There was a Freedom Press stall of course, but I forgot to ask them about their website, which has been down since Wednesday if not earlier. I guess it is due to the ongoing restructuring at libcom.
I am looking forward to the Anarchist Bookfair on Saturday. The London Anarchist Forum have organised three discussions but there is always so much going on there it is difficult to find time to fit everything in. Perhaps it should be spread over two days in future:-) People from RampART will be there for the UK Social Centre Network meeting and they are having an after-party back at their place.
Judging by last year's attendance (about a dozen), the joint LAF and Black Cat Press "Grand Anarchist Midwinter Social" will be a much smaller affair, but small can be good. A room has been booked at Freedom Press from 2.30pm on Saturday December 16th. Bring food and drink to share.
And finally, positioned nicely between the two above events, at 3pm on Saturday November 25th the London Anarchist Forum will be hosting a talk by Justin Hooper Jackson titled "The German Ideology - An Anarchist Perspective". This will also take place at Freedom Press.
in Who Runs Wikipedia, Aaron Swartz presents Wikipedia as a great example of non-hierarchical organisation.
Fancy A Day at the Mall?
An interesting interview with John Sinclair.
The London Anarchist Bookfair will take place on 2006-10-21 this year, same venue as last year, the Resource Centre on Holloway Road.
The next LAF talk will be at 14:30 on Saturday July 1st at Freedom Press. Emmet Haverty-Stacke will be expounding on "Ontological anarchism - the tao of Marxian philosophy?". Recommended reading is TAZ by Hakim Bey.
The International of Anarchist Federations has released this Statement by St Petersburg Anarchists ahead of the G8 Summit.
The Infoshop Open Wiki is an open collaborative project sponsored by Infoshop.org and the Alternative Media Project.
Dan Clore has posted Bob Black's "Anarchy 101" on smygo.
Anarchopedia looks promising.
One of the Situationist documents held at the Bureau of Public Secrets is A User's Guide to Detournement by Guy Debord and Gil Wolman. Detournement is mentioned in The Truthiness Hurts, a piece by Michael Scherer about Stephen Colbert's devastating attack on Bush and the D.C. press corps at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. The best transcript of Colbert's monologue seems to be this one by a Daily Kos blogger called Frederick.
A revised and expanded version of the "Situationist International Anthology" (edited and translated by Ken Knabb, originally published in 1981) is available online at the Bureau of Public Secrets.
The next London Anarchist Forum meeting will be at Freedom Press on 2006-05-06 at 14:30 and will be led by Ben, who will be talking about "The relationship between anarchism, anarcha-feminism and the competing strands within feminism.
At this very moment I am listening to episode zero of the Voice of Freedom, Radical Podcast.
This morning Belarussian anarchists distributed information, that last night 3.30 a.m. OMON moved to destroy tent camp that has been put up in the city center to protest fraud elections in Belarus. Opposition demonstrators had gathered in a central square in the Belarussian capital Minsk since President Alexander Lukashenko secured a third term in office last Sunday.
I just read a post on smygo which referred to Maurice Brinton's "The Irrational in Politics". This brought back memories of the early 1990s when I picked up a copy somewhere in London, and I scurried to my bookshelves to look for it. I found it hiding between a couple of other pamphlets; Emma Goldman's "Introduction to my Disillusionment in Russia" and "The Sans Culottes in the French Revolution 1793-1797" written and published by Edinburgh DAM - but I digress. My edition of Mr Brinton's classic was published in 1987 by Acrata press in San Francisco, with a preface by Chaz Bufe. The pamphlet makes frequent reference to the work of Wilhelm Reich but I will say no more - the smygo post had a link to an online version so you can read it yourself.
"V for Vendetta" is a graphic novel produced in the mid 1980s by Alan Moore and David Lloyd about a man who destroys the corrupt state he lives in, promoting Anarchy to the masses all the while. The Hollywood movie of the same name (currently enjoying huge success at the box office) is a different kettle of fish - so much so that Alan Moore has described the script as "rubbish" and dissociated himself from it. A For Anarchy is a website which fills in the gaps for the movie audience.
I have just been reading bits of Hakim Bey's TAZ (The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism).
Greenwich Degree Zero is the first collaboration between artist Rod Dickinson and artist/novelist Tom McCarthy. The artists' starting point is a strange late nineteenth-century event: on the afternoon of February 15th, 1894, a French anarchist named Martial Bourdin was killed when the bomb he was carrying detonated. The explosion took place on the slope beneath the Royal Observatory in London's Greenwich Park, and it was generally assumed that his intention had been to blow up this building - the place from which all time throughout the British Empire and the world was measured and regulated.
Dan Clore has posted the Caracas Libertarian Declaration on smygo.
Sometime in 2005 Mike Hoy of Loompanics wrote a challenge to "Libertarians" titled "Why Corporations Are Not People, And The Unsavory Consequences of Pretending That They Are". Read more about Corporate Personhood.
On 2005-12-17 I went to the extravagantly titled "Grand Anarchist Winter Solstice Party" at FREEDOM. There were only about a dozen people there but that is actually a few more than I expected. I enjoyed it and met some interesting people (we had guests hailing from Iceland, Iraq, France etc).
The next Anarchist type event in my calendar is an assembly at RampART on 2006-01-08 from 15:00 to 18:00 to talk about what sort of action to take in response to things like SOCPA and the state's proposed ID card scheme.
One more thing. Steve Ash has posted the text of his Blake talk William Blake, Mystic, Madman or Revolutionary?
On Saturday, ULU in London is hosting the "1st Anarchist/Anti-Authoritarian Assembly" from 14:00-16:00 - if you want to contribute to the agenda then send an email to an_assembly at hushmail dot com.
Time for a very brief delayed report on the Anarchist Bookfair. I was looking forward to spending the day there but I woke up feeling terrible after a late night at RampART with San Francisco Anarchist Hip-Hop Collective Entartete Kunst, DJ Rubbish, MC Angel, The Rub, BC400 etc. I managed to get to The Resource Centre by 16:00 and had a quick look round. It still seemed crowded despite the venue being supposedly bigger than last year. At 17:00 I made my way to meeting room 5 for a G8 Bike Ride meeting and by the time we finished there the bookfair was basically over. I popped my head in the big Wetherspoons pub a couple of doors down the road but decided that it would be far more pleasant to sit on the pavement with some friends to chat and pass round a bottle of cider. Suddenly there was a commotion outside the pub where a police van had pulled up. People started to gather round and soon a chant of "let him go" started up - someone was presumably being arrested. From what I can gather a few people had smuggled a soundsystem into Wetherspoons and turned it on, pissing off a lot of customers. Someone took direct action to stop the music but by then the police must have been called. Anyway, the police picked the wrong place to make an arrest and within a couple of minutes the Southbound Holloway Road was blocked. I saw a load of cops running between the cars to reach the epicentre but 30 seconds later they were running back the way they came to get kitted up with riot gear. The police appeared to have things pretty much under control by the time I cycled off with a bunch of friends in search of food. I hope the incident does not cause problems for the organisers of the bookfair next year.
Not long now till the Anarchist Bookfair which is in a new venue this year - The Resource Centre, 356 Holloway Road, London N7.
Saturday's LAF meeting at Freedom Press should be good. Steve Ash will be speaking on "William Blake, Mystic, Madman or Anarchist?". Check the LAF web page for details.
There is a long essay by Francois-Rene Rideau called Government is the Rule of Black Magic which I have been meaning to read for ages.
The Economist recently published a curious article For jihadist, read anarchist which seeks to compare "The spasm of anarchist violence that was at its most convulsive in the 1880s and 1890s" with the current activities of Al-Qaeda.
The Young Foundation was formed in April 2005 from the merger of the Institute of Community Studies and the Mutual Aid Centre. The foundation is being formally launched this autumn and they are holding a series of free lectures at LSE, starting on 2005-09-08 with a talk by Professor Charles Tilly of Columbia University titled "Why do things happen: from 9/11 to urban riots".
There was a LAF meeting on 2005-08-06 where Justin was going to give a talk on "Ideologies an Political Typologies" but unfortunately he had to cancel. I could not make it either but those that did ended up discussing Systematic Ideology. The George Walford International Essay Prize is an annual essay competition in memory of the late George Walford, one of the founders of Systematic Ideology.
The popular mythology about pirates (parrots, wooden legs, eye patches, hooks etc) is obviously unlikely to correspond with the historical reality on which it is loosely based. For example, I have heard that many "pirates" were women - not something that most people know about. One day when I have some spare time I would like to read something about the history of piracy from an Anarchist perspective. But for now, I just though I would mention the Space Hijackers & Rupture Wireless Sound System Pirate Party which was on the same day as the LAF talk I mentioned in my previous entry on this page.
While I was in Scotland for the G8 Summit I visited The Forest (in fact we used their facilities to do some running repairs on our sound system - thanks guys) but did not get to check out the ACE (The Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh).
On 2005-06-25, while I was pedalling towards Lancaster on the G8 Bike Ride, Steve Ash gave a talk at the London Anarchist Forum entitled "Is Activism Counter Revolutionary?" He has now posted this transcript on the Black Cat Press website.
I recently found a new (to me) Anarchist website called Anarkismo which seems like an excellent resource.
Check out this review of David Bollier's 2002 book "Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth" which was published in the Winter 2003 issue of YES! Magazine.
On Saturday I was at RampART for a day of events put on by the London Anarchist Forum. I missed most of Stevphen Shukaitis' postponed talk "Arbeit Macht Fleisch! Refusal, Resistance and the Embodied Collectivity of the Social Factory" but arrived in time for the discussion. This was followed by a SOMA workshop which was excellent. I may have more to say about this in the future, but for now just check out Somaterapia. The event then morphed into a party which apparently went on most of the night, though I left after an excellent set by Rhythms of Resistance.
The Space Hijackers have a section of their website devoted to Anarchitecture Week 2005 which runs from 17-26 June. This will apparently include an event organised by the "Armageddon Death Ray Society" who will use a building-animating death ray zapper to animate Big Ben and the Gherkin, then watch them devastate London as they battle it out for supremacy of the capital, Godzilla vs. Mothra style:-)
I was just talking about football (soccer) to my housemates, which is unusual since I have never really been into it. But it reminded me of a conversation I overheard in a pub once about "trilateral" football (at least I think that was the term used) which is played between three teams on a hexagonal pitch. Here is a report by Michael Hodges of a 1996 match played on the surface of the moon, or Hackney, depending on who you believe.
From Garbage Guerrilla by John McMillian in the New York Press:
In the late 1960s, Ben Morea was the notorious leader of an unsavory Lower East Side anarchist collective called Up Against the Wall, Motherfucker. As a young historian who studies that period, I'd spent almost three years trying to locate him. All the leads I'd followed went nowhere. It was as if Morea had vanished, every bit as thoroughly as a jet contrail.
But John did catch up with Ben in the end and the rest of the article is worth a read. For example, did you know that it was "The Motherfuckers" who cut the fences at Woodstock? Incidentally, I came across this article when it was posted to alt.discordia by Dan Clore.
Here is the announcement of the LAF extravaganza and G8 Benefit to be held at RampART on 2005-05-14.
On 2005-05-01 enrager.net became libcom.org - a libertarian community and organising resource for Britain.
The Institute for Autonomy on Gower Street is running a Radical Theory Forum at 17:30 on Wednesdays. Here is the summer term programme:
The next LAF looks like being a double bill at RampART on 2005-05-14.
There is an excellent interview with Ward Churchill in Sataya called Dismantling the Politics of Comfort.
I missed the last couple of LAF meetings but apparently Nick Kollerstrom's talk on the 9 Keys to 9-11 was very interesting.
Stevphen Shukaitis' 2005-04-09 talk at Freedom Press has been postponed.
Spunk Press has an interesting page about the legendary Anarchist Cookbook.
There are two LAF meetings currently scheduled for April:
See LAF page for details.
Ed has now put up a LAF page on his EVENTS&ISSUES website, where he mentions that LAF will shortly be setting up an elist. Well that was my task from last meeting and I am pleased to announce that I have completed it. The new LAF mailing list is now up and running thanks to the good folks at aktivix.
Ed McArthur of London Anarchist Forum has been sending out a regular email newsletter for some time and now has an associated website called EVENTS&ISSUES (unfortunately hosted on advert laden commercial web space).
There is a piece on Illuminati News (of all places) called Anarchism = Freedom by someone called Erik Fortman. Made me realise what a diverse bunch of people identify themselves as Anarchist.
Before Attending the London Anarchist Forum meeting at Freedom Press today I was briefly at ULU for a Resist G8 2005 South-East Assembly hosted by ULU Anti-Authoritarians.
I have just finished wading through this thread on enrager.net which started with a post by "gangster" on the subject "CLASS WAR - simply the best". Some of the posts were quite funny, but it also lead me to discover the serious Aufheben journal.
It is more than a month since the Anarchist Bookfair but I have been so busy that I have only just found time to go through the pile of leaflets which I collected on the day. One of the more interesting leaflets was a short piece called "Summits and Plateaus" put out by the Leeds May Day Group.
Ron Heisler (who gave an excellent talk on Anarchism and Freemasonry) will be speaking on "The Eucharist from Jesus of Nazareth to Karl Marx: A Political Analysis" at Conway Hall on 2005-01-30 at 11:00 - should be interesting.
I was in London on Friday morning for a meeting at the InTechnology Briefing Centre on Threadneedle Street. I got a free lunch and a free afternoon, but the best thing was that my employer had effectively paid for me to go to Critical Mass! Before heading down to the South Bank I cycled round a bit and found a few people who had arrived from various parts of Europe for the Anarchist Bookfair. Some of us visited the Freedom Press bookshop which I had never been to before. Anyway, after the Mass I cycled up to Tufnell Park for a gathering at a squatted church where I ended up sleeping.
On Saturday I made a rather late start and didn't get to the bookfair until the afternoon. It was packed as usual and I saw a lot of familiar faces. I checked out some stalls and then joined the "G8 in the UK 2005" meeting for a while before having to leave for a G8 Bike Ride meeting elsewhere.
Also on Saturday the new Principia Dialectica website went live. They will be having a proper launch party at the Aquarium Gallery on 2004-12-05.
The London Anarchist Bookfair is at ULU again this year. Ironically it coincides with Buy Nothing Day (2004-11-27) but I am sure there is an implicit exception for buying anarchist books! The Dissent! crew will be there.
This month's London Anarchist Forum will feature a talk by Christian Michel titled "The class war is not over ... but it's not what Marx thought". Conway Hall, 20:00, 2004-11-19.
I made it down to Conway Hall last night for the London Anarchist Forum. David Black's talk was hard for me to follow since I have never read much on the subject (a reading of Das Kapital is in order!) so I did not bother trying to take notes this time. Anyway, a printed version is due to appear in the next edition of The Hobgoblin. The gathering was somewhat larger than last month's and I had a chance to meet a few new people. There was a poet who happened to know my friend Aidan and a small group of Pagans who made valuable contributions to the discussion. There were also a couple of people there who were publicising a forthcoming review/journal called "Principia Dialectica" (I will add a link when the website is up).
The next LAF meeting is 2004-10-22T20:00 at Conway Hall, where David Black will be speaking on "Anarchism and Medievalism - philosophy and value economics". All welcome - free entrance - collection to pay for room.
This evening I decided to attend (for the first time) the monthly meeting of the London Anarchist Forum at Conway Hall. There were about a dozen people there including at least two others who had not been before. We were treated to a fascinating talk by Ron Heisler entitled "Has the Anarchist Movement Been Infiltrated By Freemasonry?" - I took notes and have attempted a brief summary. During the talk someone interrupted to declare an interest by admitting that he was in fact a Freemason, and offering to leave if he was not welcome. On the contrary, Ron seemed pleased to have him on board, and his presence added a bit of spice to the discussion - which inevitably turned to the subject of "conspiracy theory". Ron pointed out that a great deal of conspiracy theory regarding Freemasonry can be traced back to the "Memoires pour servir a l'histoire du Jacobinisme" published at the end of the 18th century by Abbe Augustin Barruel, in which he attempted to blame Freemasons and the Illuminati for the French Revolution.
When I got home I decided to put up a long overdue Anarchism section on my website.
www.zenatode.org.uk Ian Gregory 2010