Legal observer training 21.01.18

Legal Observer Training Workshop.

Sunday 21st Jan. 10.30-4.30pm.

This workshop is free but bring (vegan) lunch to share.

Legal Observers are volunteers who are part of an organised team gathering information on protests. Their presence is reassuring to protesters and can protect people from unlawful or repressive policing. You don’t need a special legal background, but you need to be able to take fast, accurate notes, be able to communicate well with others, and to stay calm under stress.

Green and Black Cross (GBC) provide training and support for Legal Observers at hundreds of demonstrations every year, their website is an amazing resource:

Please publicise:

OK I’m interested, what do I do now? To enrol send a short summary of your interest in Legal Observing to:

Restorative justice and community accountability 17.01.18

Join a group of Bristol based activists for a food and discussion evening around community accountability in anarchist scenes. We all have experiences of conflict within our groups, often leading to burnout, stress, anxiety, worries and frustrations. Our campaigns lose energy and become derailed, friends fall out, people are excluded from spaces and some groups implode altogether.

We invite you to discuss:

What are the solutions? How can communities pull together to show more responsibility/accountability? What skills are needed? Can restorative approaches be used successfully? How can we support our groups to remain strong and focussed during times of conflict?

If there is enough interest we’re hoping to organise training around community building, conflict resolution and mediation skills for community organisers and activists within Bristol. So please invite anyone you think may be interested!

Food 6:30pm and chat from 7-8pm.

Our take on the London bookfair incident

Plenty of others have written about events at the 2017 London anarchist bookfair and the disagreements since. We recognise that some of the harm caused is ongoing, which is why we wanted to respond even though some time has passed.

While it is uncomfortable, and often deeply painful, to find ourselves disagreeing with people we’ve regarded as friends and comrades, trans people have been facing discomfort and hostility in our movements for a lot longer. Ignoring this conflict is not an option.

We don’t think transphobia should be tolerated in anarchist spaces and events.

As underlying attitudes come to the surface, it’s become clear that some people in our movements think such bigotry should be given credibility (sometimes on the basis of ‘free speech’) as one viewpoint among many, to be debated calmly as if it were not something doing real damage to real human beings.

We disagree. To us, ideas which try to turn disempowered groups against one another should be opposed vigorously with all the tools available to us, including, where appropriate, physical force and no-platforming.

We’re also concerned at yet another case of someone’s social capital within the movement being used to excuse their behaviour. We all need to find ways to challenge the gaps in each others’ awareness, not ignore them – and to do this in a way that doesn’t pretend we are perfect ourselves.

Some have suggested that doing so is divisive, that we should focus on state or institutional oppressions; this ignores the fact that these divisions are already there, but some of us have the luxury of being oblivious to them.

We realise that a huge amount of work has gone into the bookfair over the years, and that even among the small group of organisers, attitudes will vary. Still, we wish it had been possible for advice, contacts and resources to be passed on before the event was abandoned, and hope it will continue in some form.

In the long run, we want to build a feminism which attacks the common enemy instead of reinforcing oppression.

Save Bialowieza Forest! Info-night

Monday 11 December 2017
@ Kebele Social Centre
14 Robertson Road, Easton, Bristol
8pm for tea and snacks, 8.30 for talk
Ring the Alarm! Poland’s Bialowieza forest and climate activists
under threat from loggers and the state.
Activists from The Camp for the Forest, a coalition of groups, NGOs and individuals committed to stopping logging in the last primeval forest in lowland Europe, will be coming to the UK for a speaking tour about their actions, the conditions in Bialowieza and the political climate in Poland today.
Despite a European Commission ruling rendering logging unlawful in the forest and the European Court of Justice ordering fines of 100k Euro per day for violations, commercial logging continues according to evidence gathered by Camp for the Forest.
Documenting by satnav and cameras, drones, and human observation, activists have build up a body of evidence of infractions by the Polish government, logging companies and the armed Forest Guard who patrol the forest like an occupation force.
Over 60 blockades and lock-ons have taken place since May of this year, including 20 of heavy machinery such as Harvesters.
Approximately 180,000 cubic meters [180 000 trees] have been cut in the Forest this year – 400% of logging in 2016 and 30% was carried out in natural stands of trees over  a century old.
Protesters have been labelled eco-terrorists and extremists by logging supporters. Mass arrests, invasive and humiliating cavity searches by police, physical assaults by armed Forest Guards, home raids and constant surveillance have been used to try and intimidate what is a strong, broad and peaceful movement to protect Bialowieza and turn the entire forest into a national park.
Come and hear all about it and maybe you too can join the hundreds who have travelled from all over Europe to support Bialowieza.

“Welcome to Leith” film showing

In relation to the current upsurge in fascism and far right movements we feel it’s important to raise awareness about where fascism can head if left unchecked.

Welcome to Leith is a feature documentary from 2015 that chronicles the attempted takeover of a small town in North Dakota by notorious white supremacist Craig Cobb.

“As his behaviour becomes more threatening tensions soar, with residents desperately looking for ways to expel their unwanted neighbour.”

The film features “incredible access” to both long time residents of Leith and white supremacists, and examines how a community fought back against an extremist vision.

The usual vegan dinner is on at Kebele from 6.30pm.

Anarchism and Nationalism

A talk and discussion with Uri Gordon, author of “Anarchy Alive” and “Dark Tidings”.

5pm, Saturday 25th November at Kebele.

Uri Gordon is an Israeli anarchist theorist and activist. He is a lecturer at the University of Nottingham, and formerly at Loughborough University in the UK and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Ketura, Israel. One of several anarchist theorists to come of age during the anti-globalization movement at the turn of the 21st century, he has worked with anarchist and radical movements including Indymedia, Peoples’ Global Action, and Anarchists Against the Wall. Active primarily in Britain and his native Israel, Gordon has participated in protests at international summits across Europe, and played a part in the 2011 Israeli social justice protests.

Antifa talk: The history and strategies of antifa in Germany

The rise of fascist movements and parties all over Europe has once again made it clear: organised antifascist resistance is necessary. In order to successfully intervene and stop fascism from spreading, it is useful to take a look at the different experiences built from movements in other countries, particularly the history of the Antifa movement which originally started in 1930’s Germany.

The speaker, who is a member of the “ums Ganze!” Bündnis and has been part of antifascist initiatives and organisations for more than ten years, tries to present the major strategies, struggles, defeats, victories, splits, and theories of the Antifaschistische Aktion from 1932 to the present. Afterwards, we will have a discussion about the lessons there are for the movement here, going forwards in 2017.

7.30pm start. Wednesday, 15th November.