Reading Group #18 – Marxism (and Anarchism) #2

Our regular reading group will next meet on Tuesday, 18th of February 2020, 7-9pm at Freedom Bookshop (84b Whitechapel High St, London E1 7QX).

We have now started a 3-months season to familiarise ourselves with Marxism (and Anarchism)!

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This will be the second meeting on this topic and we will look at Marx and the state with the following texts:

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Open Meeting – Resistance Post Election and Post Brexit

With the downfall of Corbyn, five more years of Tory rule, a right wing Brexit, and continued climate change ahead of us, the working class faces a bleak immediate future.

Instead of despair, we are holding an open meeting to discuss what anarchists can do to resist capitalist exploitation and state oppression, and forge a better future than the one currently on offer.

14:00 – 16:00, Sunday the 9th of February, London Action Resource Centre (LARC), 62 Fieldgate St, Whitechapel, London E1 1ES

Facebook event

Further details TBC

2019 – A year in review

In many people’s minds 2019 will go down as the year we learned what ‘proroguing’ meant or perhaps maybe it’ll just be viewed as the beginning of the end. The calm before the Boris. Already it looks like the right to strike is under attack, voter ID will disenfranchise thousands and Zac Goldsmith remains the turd you can’t flush away, no matter how many times you vote him out. In all this uncertainty, we thought we’d review some of the good things we did during the year.

Gigs and $$$: starting with a rocking Killdren + Inner Terrestrials gig at DIY space in January (which the police attempted to shut down) we’ve raised around £1,600 at socials throughout the year which went to comrades in Greece, Russia, Manchester and projects closer to home in London.

Reading group: we’ve now been going for 18 months and hit a peak with our sessions on anarcho-feminism and queer struggles which had ~30 people at each. In 2020 we’re going to be running a series on Marx in what we’re sure will be a laugh a minute.

Demos: we’ve attended so many demos this year it’s hard to keep track. In many we managed to change the nature of them with a concerted effort by a small group. See a load of black flags on Westminster bridge at the proroguing demo? That was started by three of our members who’d commandeered a PA. If at any of the recent demos you heard teenagers chanting Fuck The Police directly in the face of the coppers, there’s a good chance we had something to do with that. On a more sombre note, the sheer number of demos we’ve felt we had to attend speaks to the times.

Antifascism: we weren’t involved, guv, honest. Despite having its ups and downs, the London Antifascist Assembly is a force for good which we continue to support after being involved in its founding.

Green Anticapitalist Front: not happy with just pointing out XRs flaws, we set up a broad coalition of groups with the aim of both radicalising the environmental movement and robbing polluters and their financial backers of the social license to operate. We’ve given talks on anticapitalism and eco-fascism at XR events and tried to take both the stock exchange and the metal exchange which we reckon are better targets than a roundabout.

Gender and Sexuality: in advance of the expected backlash as LGBTQ education is rolled out across the country, we’ve been bringing together groups and individuals keen to push back against the reactionaries. These have been typified by Katie Hopkins putting aside her rampant Islamophobia to work with Muslim groups against LGBTQ rights. Watch this space for more action to be announced at the start of 2020

Solidarity network: in 2020 we’ll be forming a solidarity network to fight back against bosses, landlords and anyone else who pisses us off. I imagine it’s going to be a busy year.

Bookfairs and festivals: One good sign is the number of anarchist/radical festivals that have been springing up. We’ve toured the country and put on events at A-fest and the antiuni. In 2020 the London Anarchist Bookfair returns with a new crew including some of our members. Who will hand out the most controversial leaflet? Only time will tell, but we’re mocking up one of David Cameron and Boris double-teaming a pig as we speak.

Reading Group #17 – Marxism (and Anarchism) #1

Our regular reading group will next meet on Tuesday, 21st of January 2020, 7-9pm at Freedom Bookshop (84b Whitechapel High St, London E1 7QX).
There won’t be a reading group meeting in December.

This January we’ll be starting another 3-months season to familiarise ourselves with another hot topic: Marxism (and Anarchism)!

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Schedule as follows:
January: Introduction to Marx as a philosopher & to Marxist economics
February: Marx(ism) & the state
March: Marxism in relation to Anarchism

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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