Open Meeting – Against The Coming Queerphobic Backlash

We are holding another open meeting on possible responses to the likely backlash against more LGBT+ inclusive education in schools being rolled out next September (see background below). The meeting will be at London Action Resource Centre (62 Fieldgate St, Shadwell, London E1 1ES) at 5pm on Saturday the 23rd of November.

Due to the possible scale of the problem, we want to get as many people as possible involved and ultimately build a broad coalition of groups and individuals that goes far beyond the Anarchist Federation working group that is hosting this meeting.

So far we are throwing around ideas about holding an open assembly, putting together educational material to counter far right misinformation, and creating a leaflet of testimonials about how a lack of LGBT+ inclusion in education has harmed people in the past, but none of this is set in stone.

If you want to get involved, have ideas, or are a member of a group that might want to plan ahead of time for a possible backlash next September and can’t get to the meeting, please get in contact via Facebook or our email. This will be an ongoing project outside of any meetings we might hold.

Some of us will definitely be hanging around for drinks at LARC after the meeting as well, so if you can only make it after the official meeting time people will still be around to talk more informally.

BACKGROUND:

In September 2020 the government will be rolling out compulsory lessons about LGBT+ relationships nation wide. When this scheme was trialed in Birmingham earlier this year there was a backlash against it and a rise in hate crime in the area, with the far right trying to jump on the band wagon.

For more details, see the BBC on the Birmingham backlash, the information put out by the government on the roll out, Pink News on the far right trying to get involved, and Pink News on the rise in hate crimes in the area.

Reading Group #16 – Solidarity Networks

Our regular reading group will next meet on Tuesday, 19th of November, 7-9pm at Freedom Bookshop (84b Whitechapel High St, London E1 7QX).

Lately members of the London Anarchist Federation has been discussing the idea of a solidarity network, so we decided we would do some reading on them. The texts we will be discussion are:

Building a Solidarity Network – The influential SeaSol guide to building a solidarity network.

Solidarity Network or Solidarity Service? – A critical look at a failed attempt to build a solidarity network along the lines of that guide from one of its participants.

On the home front: Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth – An interview with one the people involved in one of the more successful solidarity network style organisations in London.

November 2nd – World Resistance Day London – #RiseUp4Rojava

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Facebook event here and the full call out from the Kurdistan Solidarity Network below:

“At 4pm on October 9th, the Turkish occupation army and its Islamist allies began their long-prepared war of aggression against the liberated areas of northern Syria.

At four o’clock sharp in the afternoon, bombs rained down on people in towns and villages on the border. Jihadist militias began their advance under the leadership of the Turkish army and tried to penetrate into the border area. Turkey is talking about a “military operation” aimed at “securing the border” and establishing a so-called “peace corridor”, but the fact is that the Turkish army and the Islamist mercenaries under its command are concerned with nothing less than the occupation of the mostly Kurdish populated entire area along the Turkish-Syrian border. The regime in Ankara speaks of the “fight against terrorism” and emphasizes that their war of aggression is not about the war on the civilian population, but indiscriminate bombing of civilian settlements, looting and mass deportations of hundreds of thousands of people, arbitrary executions and the brutal abduction of hundreds of civilians speak a different language. The further the war against northern Syria progresses, the more it becomes clear, what Erdogan is really about, namely ethnic cleansing through the violent expulsion of millions of people and the long-term demographic change of the entire region.

In the north of Syria, in the shadow of the Syrian civil war, a revolutionary and democratic social project has thrived in the past seven years that has been a thorn in the side of the region’s powers and imperialist states from the very beginning. The societies of Northeastern Syria established their own self-government and created an oasis of peace, based on the equal coexistence of all groups of the local population, the liberation of women, an ecological economy and radical democracy. The Democratic Federation of Northeast Syria has become a living example of a peaceful and democratic future for the Middle East, beyond local despotism and foreign rule. Finally, the defense forces of the peoples of northeastern Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces, succeeded in smashing the last remnants of the Turkish-based IS caliphate.

Today, Islamist militias, most of them fighters of the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, are advancing again with the Turkish occupation offensive in northern Syria and spreading fear and terror. The states of the International Coalition, above all the United States of America, have paved the way for the Turkish war of aggression with their coordinated withdrawal of troops. They gave away their former allies to destruction and sacrificed the peoples of northeastern Syria to their filthy interests. The states of the world have agreed to close their eyes while the Turkish occupation army and its jihadists are committing a genocide with NATO weapons.

But we will not stand by and witness in silence the massacres that take place in the eyes of the world today. Only a broad and resistant anti-war movement will stop this war. Just as people were pouring worldwide into the streets against the Vietnam War or the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the conscience of humankind must rise in revolt today in the face of the Turkish barbarism in northern Syria.

On November 1st, 2014, millions of people around the entire world took to the streets for a day to express their solidarity with the heroic resistance of Kobanê. We call for this year’s November 2nd to be a day of global resistance against the Turkish War of Aggression, to break the normal situation and to paralyze life. Participate in creative and diverse actions of civil disobedience, demonstrations, and many more, and take over the streets and public spaces.

As long as the killing continues, the resistance must not stop. It’s time to #RiseUp4Rojava!”

October 31st – London is Antifascist, Antifascism is International

On October 31st we will be out as part of the London Antifascist Assembly (LAFA) to oppose the far right. LAFA call out below:

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The openly racist and divisive rhetoric of Boris Johnson has emboldened the far right.

All across the world the rise of authoritarian neo-liberal governments, ultra-nationalism and openly fascist movements are being resisted by mass anti-fascist action on the streets – from Rojava to Catalunya, Kashmir, Greece and Chile – anti-fascism is international.

Last month saw violent fascists attack pro-EU and environmentalist demonstrators in central London. In recent weeks a vigilante group has patrolled the Dover seafront, “hunting” migrants seeking to cross the Channel. The deaths of 39 migrants who froze to death in the back of a lorry in Essex, forced into the hands of traffickers, is the latest outcome of the UK state’s hostile environment.

On 31st October organisations from across the far right are planning to mobilise in central London: they are seeking to capitalise on Brexit chaos in order to spread Islamophobic and xenophobic sentiment, and to recruit and radicalise those who feel disenfranchised by the political mainstream. London Anti-Fascist Assembly will be there to oppose them. This is not just about “leave” versus “remain”: we are unified in our opposition to racism, Islamophobia and fascism on our streets.

In solidarity with the global fight against fascism, London Anti-Fascist Assembly calls for a mass mobilisation on the streets. Not one step back!

London is anti-fascist, Rojava is anti-fascist, Catalunya is anti-fascist! Anti-fascism is international!

Meet at 7:30pm SHARP, 31st October, at the International Brigade Memorial in Lambeth.

Stay safe, stick together and look out for each other. This is a night time demonstration and there is potential for violence from the far right especially if they don’t get the no deal brexit they want.

Due to the unpredictable nature of the current political situation and the far right’s response to it, plans may change at short notice.

Keep an eye on our social media for updates and if you have any questions about accessibility please get in touch:

Twitter: @London_AFA
Facebook: @LondonAntiFascistAssembly
Instagram: @london_antifascist_assembly
Email: LondonAFA@riseup.net

Reading group 15th Oct 2019: Internationalism

As ever, we will be meeting on the 3rd Tuesday of the month (15th October, 7pm at Freedom Bookshop). This month we will be focusing on internationalism with the following texts:

Criminalizing solidarity: Syriza’s war on the movements – https://roarmag.org/essays/criminalizing-solidarity-movement-refugees-greece/

Internationalism and the Question of Revolutionary Leadership – https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/internationalist-commune-bager-rosa-internationalism-and-the-question-of-revolutionary-leadersh

For a new Internationalism of Women – https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/internationalist-commune-for-a-new-internationalism-of-women

Open Meeting on The 2nd of October

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In September 2020 the government will be rolling out compulsory lessons about LGBT+ relationships nation wide. When this scheme was trialed in Birmingham earlier this year there was a backlash against it and a rise in hate crime in the area, with the far right trying to jump on the band wagon.

With the potential for a national backlash in 2020 and a year to plan ahead, our gender and sexuality working group want to start discussing what we might be able to do to fight that backlash in London and further afield.

We will be holding an open meeting at 19:00 on Wednesday the 2nd of October at Freedom Bookshop to get our strategic thinking caps on.

Report on Solidarity Demo for Exarcheia

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On the 2nd of September we held a solidarity demo outside the Greek embassy, which got about 30 people out on a Monday afternoon. We handed out copies of the Anarchist Federation’s statement (also below) on the brutal attacks on immigrants and anarchists by the Greek state, although the embassy refused to allow us to deliver a copy to their staff.

We would like to thank everyone who came, including the people over at Anarcha Feminism who helped us promote it. Solidarity with our comrades suffering in Greece and down with the false borders used to divide us!

Statement from the Anarchist Federation

On Monday the 26th of August, the Greek police launched a large operation in Exarcheia, the famous rebel district in the centre of Athens. This is a unique place in Europe for its high concentration of squats and other self-organised spaces, but also for its resistance against repression and solidarity with migrants and the precariat.

Early in the morning, the squats of Spirou Trikoupi 17, Gare, Rosa de Fon and Transito were surrounded by huge police forces: anti-riot police, anti-terrorism police and secret police. The police then launched a large repression operation, leading to over 100 arrests. Migrants have been sent to camps known for inhuman living conditions. More than 15 kids that grew up in Athens and had their life there were deported. The security forces are now walling up the buildings that used to be home to so many.

This operation aimed to directly attack the incredible solidarity efforts that were developed by a network of people, many of them anarchists, to cope with the austerity measures the Greek state and the EU implemented. It aimed to destroy a neighbourhood that has invented a new world where it has been possible to exist and live regardless of your economical, social or cultural background. It aimed to keep Exarcheia under the control of a violent state that, like the rest of Europe, is ready to put humans in camps, simply because they were born on the other side of a border.

Exarcheia has many other squats, around 20, but the newly elected Greek prime minister promised a complete “cleaning”. More battles are to come.

The Anarchist Federation is expressing its full support to everyone in Exarcheia.

For a future without State, police or borders,

Solidarity! αλληλεγγύη!

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2nd of September – Support to Exarcheia

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Gathering in front the Greek embassy to show support to our friends that are struggling right now in Athens! This rebel neighbourhood was recently attacked by the police, as recently explained in a statement from the Anarchist Federation. Hope to see many of you there, in solidarity with the people fighting there!

We will be meeting at 1 Holland Park, London, W11 3, on Monday the 2nd of September at 1pm, Facebook event here