There is no anarchism without feminism: Re-blogged from Left at the Lights

There is no anarchism without feminism I’d never been to bookfair before. I was very excited to be attending; had been looking forward to looking at books and collecting badges and I knew everyone I loved would be there. Not a lot of that happened though. I went home with two badges (the best two badges there in my opinion ‘my body is my business’ and ‘keep your rosaries of my ovaries’) and a stiff body and sore throat.

Within an hour of arriving we had to face the dreaded white man from down under. I’d heard there was some drama at last year’s bookfair but my memory isn’t the best so had forgotten the details apart from the fact that he was a misogynist and had upset some of our fem bloc. Well, it was clear to see and hear why this might have been. Stood on a bench he was spouting the usual Assange rape apologist bullshit about how there is “no rape without a charge” and that it simply didn’t happen. Of course we weren’t going to let that go. “Rape apologist” we shouted as his face screwed up into a grimace, a small crowd gathered round him. He started pointing at Stavvers, for some reason becoming utterly fixated with her red boots and sniping that she was an imperialist and he didn’t have to listen to her. So I stepped up and asked him what I was, surely he couldn’t excuse me in the same manner? I was wrong.

“Your culture,” he spat, “has invaded my culture for the last 800 years!” I must admit, I was a little confused by this. I might be British by birth but it certainly wasn’t my choice and my ancestors are traditionally those who have been raped and pillaged by imperialists so I couldn’t get my head around what he meant. “You’re a British imperialist!” He said this a few times but it didn’t make a difference in my comprehension. Here was this white man with an Australian accent and hefty mousey dreadlocks accusing me of racially controlling him and I wasn’t happy. This is where I got a bit sweary. I asked him what he meant by that as I made a point of looking at my skin and he replied “well, your accent is really English.” This person clearly hasn’t spent any time in this country or spoken to any people of colour living in Western societies otherwise he’d know that accents have very fucking little to do with a person’s roots. That and he’s a big fat racist. We called him that and we called him a rape apologist. A couple of his supporters really didn’t like that. One man, with his fuzzy mullet and flat cap brought his camcorder right into my face, his lips shaking, trying to intimidate me into silence. ANY anarchist worth their fucking politics knows you do not film comrades so with this in mind, we assumed he was a copper and called it as such. He didn’t like that. Dread man called us ‘hysterical’ and we all whooped. There were calls for making the most of it with a game of manarchist bingo as things went from ridiculous to brain numbingly tedious. He randomly accused two of our group of killing 11 people in Northern Ireland, accusing one of them of being Northern Irish.

The crowd around us got bigger, comrades very much on our side and the others, men who seemed utterly heartbroken (pissed off) that we were chanting “kill all men”. One well-meaning chap explained how his mum was a feminist and how he had support for women but he felt alienated by phrases such as the one we were using. Assuming he was an anarchist, I asked him if he’d ever said ‘ACAB’ or ‘eat the rich’ and then whether he said these in the absolute belief that there wasn’t a single good cop in the world or that he might actually munch on the upper classes because if he was saying it, then he obviously he meant it. There was a slight pause before he understood what I was saying but he persisted in advising that we were pushing the average man away.

Here’s the thing: we don’t give a shit about the average man. We’re not teachers, we’re not leaders, we’re not going to break it down for you in a language you understand. We are expressing ourselves, nothing more, nothing less. We say these extreme things because, powerless as we are, sometimes it is the only thing in our arsenal. Words are powerful, yes, and for those fleeting few seconds, we are in control and you can’t hurt us.

As the crowd dissipated we made our way to the foyer for the AnarchaFem conference but on the way in, we were confronted by fuzzy mullet man. His face started twitching again, he must have really been resisting the impulse to physically attack me, his whole demeanour was triggering of the men who have attacked me in the past. I felt eerily calm, pushing his finger down when he pointed it in my face and moving into his space to see how he liked it. “Do you believe in free speech?” He repeated this over and over. Comrades shouted “rape apologist cop!” at him but this didn’t change his stance. It was only when a male comrade physically put his body between us that this manz sloped off, the bulk of my male friend clearly too much of a challenge.

If we thought an AnarchaFem conference was going to leave us any more confident about the bookfair then those hopes were soon dashed. They had a safer spaces policy that I really got on board with but I couldn’t say that it made me feel any safer on the premises. I raised the point with the people facilitating the meeting. Whilst it felt safe-ish in the room, the journey to the room had left us afraid and feeling remarkably unsafe. They replied that they knew Ciaron O Reilly was back this year and were aware of the problems he had caused the previous year so we could meet at the end and discuss how we were going to tackle it. With this covered we moved on to the subject of self-defined women only safe spaces for the AnarchaFem conference. It turned out this wasn’t it but a strategy meeting for setting one up. Most of the discussion with other anarcha fems seemed progressive until one woman suggested we needed a safe space where we could “discuss divisive subjects like sex work and abortion”.  This is where the meeting went downhill. As was rightly pointed out by one of our irl comrades, we come to an anarcha fem space safe in the knowledge that if you are identifying as an anarchist you have rejected the system and discussions such as the one proposed are had by anarchists every day when combatting bigotry. This should not be the starting point; we should already have come to the conclusion that our feminism is inclusive. We might have our own feelings about sex work and abortion, heck, I have my own feelings about some Muslims but I’m not about to force my feelings on others because of the twisted experiences I have personally had. From outside the room we heard shrieking and through the small glass panel I saw some of dread man’s supporters heckling and pointing at us. When they were asked to leave, they said they didn’t follow rules cos anarchy. When advised they couldn’t drink outside a room where a safe space policy was in place, they jeered at us and said “are you gonna stop calling him a rape apologist?” We told them this was room focused on survivors and they had no business being on the landing and then another man from a meeting around the corner came to have a go but not at them, as though we were the troublemakers. On speaking to other comrades, many of the workshops had similar problems; one of them even had survivors and perpetrators in the same space with someone sat at the door to ensure people couldn’t leave. There were people crying and shaking. This is not my anarchism. This is patriarchy.

Leaving the meeting we quickly became aware that dread man was stirring trouble up again. The entrance to the building was crammed with people posturing towards a centre point. Assangites in Anon masks were taking pictures and filming people again. TELL ME, HOW IS THIS ANARCHIST? I rightly got very angry and tried to push the camera out of one of the women’s hands but she was really enjoying herself. Dread man was spouting some nonsense about ‘Branning’ and I remembered hearing somewhere many anon types were struggling with the fact that Chelsea Manning is who she is. I said her name was Chelsea Manning and it affected him for all of a split second before he went on a bizarre rant about the Clintons and Chelsea being Hilary’s daughter and imperialist conspiracies yadda yadda. We started chanting “her name is Chelsea Manning” and then he pointed at me, “America and that woman over there, she is the most dangerous woman in the world!” I won’t lie, this made me sorta happy. But seriously, me, 5 foot brownie with invisible disabilities is the biggest threat that man thinks the world has to face. I agree about America but how, HOW am I on a par with that rogue state there? Obviously he’s a completely ridiculous manz with an ego the size of Australia, just like Assange.

What can be done about Anarchism? This was my first experience of anarchists outside of my close knit activist group. I am hoping we are the majority and we can eliminate the patriarchal fucks intent on maintaining power and control structures otherwise I am seriously going to have to rethink my identity.

Eddles choose Dorset fascist as their new fuhrer.

Following the defection of Beavis and Butt-head to the Quilliam foundation, the teletubbies have selected a new ‘beer leader’ with unmistakeably fascist credentials. Tim Ablitt the EDL’s former SW regional organiser, was also Dorset organiser for the British Freedom Party, a BNP splinter group, of which Carroll was chairman and Yaxley-Lennon his deputy; they briefly ‘united’ the two groups.

Dorset fascist

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In July 2010 Ablitt along with 6 other fascists was travelling in a van driven by ‘Poole Knight’ when it was shot at by Babylon as a result of the group gobbing off in the pub about a plan to blow up Bournemouth mosque. The 7 were arrested for conspiracy to cause explosions but the cops evidently decided they were all wind and piss and they were never charged.

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‘Poole Knight’ is none other than bungling Swanage fascist John Broomfield who got locked up for making dirty pictures of children in a plot to fit up his girlfriend’s ex.

The new chairman owns a clothing business ‘NRNLS Ltd’ whose registered address is listed as: Flat 11, Willow View, 91 Fitzworth Ave, Poole BH16 5AZ and supplies EDL branded shirts and face masks. Their annual return is overdue and there is an active proposal to strike them off the companies register. A bit like the BFP who failed to return their registration fee on time.

This is what chairman Ablitt had to say about public sector workers:

Ablitt rantIf you disagree NRNLS’ telephone number is: 01202 679 022 assuming he’s paid the bill.

Getting all upset about having his facebook screen shots bandied about:

Tim Ablitt issues threat to EDL News

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon is not important enough to blog about and has no opinions worth mentioning. As for the Quilliam Foundation, giving cover to two pig-ignorant racists so they can pretend to be something else must be a new low even for this shower.

From their home page: “Challenging extremism is the duty of all responsible members of society. Not least because cultural insularity and extremism are products of the failures of wider society to foster a shared sense of belonging and to advance liberal democratic values.“

It’s hard to think of anything more extreme than liberal democracy, which brought you the atomic bomb, global warming and universal surveillance. For 40 odd years, it actively plotted the annihilation of half the human race in defence of its alleged moral superiority.

Meanwhile, in Bournemouth…

Message from BHSTOPEDL: Our Winton spotter group observed a few fascists drinking in the Hop and Kilderkin on Saturday; we’ve also been made aware of fascists hanging around school playgrounds in the vicinity…

Looking for muslamic ray guns no doubt, but given that the EDL has a higher nonce quotient than the national average this needs looking into. The message continues:

…We see someone (not us) has painted ‘F*** the EDL’ on the Pure Drop pub in Poole.

It wasn’t us either, if it was we’d have taken a picture, fair play though.       

More about the Pure Drop Inn!

Autonomy Films present: REEL NEWS: COMMUNITIES IN ACTION! in Bridport Saturday 12th October 2013

Communities  (1)7 pm for 7.30 pm 12th October W.I. Hall, North Street, Bridport. £3 (less if you can’t afford it)
Vegetarian soup on sale from 6.30

OTHER EVENTS OF INTEREST:

Global Frackdown Day

October 19th 2013 a global day of action
Contact: Frack-free Dorset on   info@frackfreedorset.org, website www.frackfreedorset.org

 

‘Unusual things that Happen at Trees’

illustrated talk about a popular tradition of rituals and healing at special trees, which has survived across Europe despite religious repression. Thursday 7th November 8pm at the Ropemakers Pub, Bridport (in the back of the pub) organised by Bridport Pagan Moot.

Pickets of Santander Bank in solidarity with CNT-AIT

Click on images to enlarge.

 

Multinational banking group Santander was targeted for union busting across the breadth of their empire on Tuesday 1st October 2013 by the anarcho-syndicalist International Workers Association (IWA). A number of actions were held in Britain by the Solidarity Federation (SF-IWA). In Bristol, the local SF-IWA section was joined by members of Bristol Anarchist Federation, BARF & migrant Spanish workers to deliver a message of resistance to the company and solidarity with the sacked union organiser of the Spanish anarcho-syndicalist Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT-IWA) union. The CNT has been organising within Isban, a computer services company owned by the Santander Group into which thousands of workers have been transferred. Workers at Isban are controlled and dismissed through the use of employment agencies. Pay and conditions have deteriorated at the same time that the banking group’s profits have soared. Workers organising in Spain have been targeted by a company anxious to maintain control over its ‘resources’. Just as the company’s tentacles reach across the globe, so does our resistance and organisation. For more information see:

More pictures to follow from Bristol picket.

Two blogs for the price of one!

After being offline for a week without explanation, the blog at www.wessexsolidarity.wordpress.com is back up. In the meantime we created a new one at https://network23.org/wsol just got it in shape and changed all the literature…

Today we received this message from wordpress.com:wordpressFor the time being we’ll keep both running and see how it goes, we can’t be reliant on something that can disappear for a week for no reason. We like network23 as it’s actually meant for activists, but it has limited storage space and some files are too large to upload, so we’ll host all the larger documents on the wordpress one, the library, pages and links menus will be kept identical but we probably won’t bother with wordpress re-blogs on the new site unless it’s something really important.

We will continue to bring you radical news and views from Southern Britain and around the world; we will continue to stir it up with a broad stick.

Sometimes antisocial, always antifascist!

Welcome to the ‘new’ Wessex Solidarity blog! Updated:

WSolGreetings comrades!

As we got unceremoniously kicked off wordpress dot com on Tuesday night this is our new home. We were locked out of our account for an alleged violation of terms of service; no explanation has been forthcoming from WP so fuck ’em.

It looks a fucking awful mess because we can’t access our content, and had to import an xtml file from August (the latest one is just a little too big.)

So we’ve just taken this strange new space, everything’s in boxes, some of it’s missing or broken and there’s junk we should probably have thrown out, so if you can’t find what you’re looking for, it’s because we can’t either!

The links page seems to be intact and we will re-build the reference library, the links were all imported without the media content. Most of it still exists somewhere, spread around on various computers, social media and storage devices so please bear with us while we sort it all out. We owe a huge debt to Hastings Anarchists who have archived our posts for a couple of years now!

Links to nested pages have mostly been repaired; we’ll work on the ‘squeaky hinge principle’  and  prioritise  whatever people ask for. Meantime  if you need a  document just e mail us. and we’ll send it to you.

We look forward to hearing from you.

We’re back!

If you’re reading this please share the link widely on social media and update your sites’ link pages. Cheers.

Events this weekend

So we’re not going to Bournemouth on Saturday to kick fascist arse after all; don’t be downhearted, there’s other stuff going on! Anything else you want to share, just give us a shout.

Reading:

ANTIFA FUNDRAISING GIG:  WILL TUN & THE WASTERS, AWATE, ASH VICTIM, MC AMALGAM & DJ DUBIOUS – £3

Fundraising gig support of the Tower Hamlets 286,, all proceeds will go to organisations supporting the arrestees. Free entry for arrestees!

reading

Facebook event

Bath:

On Saturday 5th October, from 4 until 7pm in the Coffee Lounge of Manvers Street Baptist Church in Bath (a minute’s walk from Bath Spa train station), the Black And Red Federation will be organising a discussion on anarchism, and invite members of the public to come along and take part.

The group feels that recent government policy and business lobbyists have made the UK a better place for millionaires and right wing politicians, but an increasingly uncertain and unhealthy place for everyone else.

Anarchism has received a bad press ever since its birth 173 years ago, with anarchists forced into stereotypes of either violent thugs or sandal-footed hippies – caricatures repeated by both the media and political establishment on one side, but also by self-proclaimed anarchists on the other. But many anarchists see it differently: the philosophy has come a long way since its roots amongst the Taoists of ancient China and the Christian Anabaptists of 16th Century Europe, promoting mutual respect, equality and rationality, and opposing oppression wherever it appears. Indeed, anarchism had become a mass movement of hundreds of thousands of everyday people fighting for and winning freedom from the 1920s to the 1930s in the Ukraine, Spain and Korea, however briefly. Far from embracing destruction and chaos, anarchists say that ‘Anarchism is Order’!

In Bath on Saturday, a handful of local speakers will make short presentations on the ideas and history of this important but controversial political philosophy, before breaking down into longer group sessions where all present are invited to discuss and offer their two cents. The group will ask whether, in this current climate of biting austerity and growing global unrest, anarchists and their ideas have any role to play?

Entry is free, food and hot drinks will be available, as will stalls of literature, and all are welcome to come along and join them on the day! This will be the first in a series of talks this year.

A message from BHSTOPEDL

Apologies for the delay in putting this out!

On Thursday evening we received the following e-mail from our stout comrades in Bournemouth:

Dear friends,
Following their meeting tonight at the Pure Drop Inn in Poole the fascist group EDL have withdrawn their threat to march in our town on the 5th October.

We would like to thank all those involved in organising what would have been a significant counter-mobilisation at short notice. The community spirit and determination shown by Bournemouth and Poole residents in response to this threat has been truly inspiring; we have demonstrated our ability to put politics and religion to one side and work together against those who wish to divide us. We would also like to thank all the groups who have offered their help and especially those people who expressed a willingness to travel large distances to support us.

This is not a cause for complacency, we must remain vigilant. Our regular patrols and intelligence gathering will continue; if you have any information, or would like to be involved, please contact:

e-mail