Reading Group #19 – Marxism (and Anarchism) #3

Due to the coronavirus we will postpone all reading groups until further notice.

 

Our regular reading group will next meet on Tuesday, 17th of March 2020, 7-9pm at Freedom Bookshop (84b Whitechapel High St, London E1 7QX).

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While the last two reading groups were an introduction to Marx and his own writings on economics and the state, we will close this season (for now), by looking at some of the differences between Anarchism & Marxism, or better between Anarchists & Marxists. We will also pick up on some of the discussions started at the last reading group.

Disclaimer: As always, we do not choose texts that we necessarily agree with, but that educate and allow debate.

Have a read of the below and join the discussion!

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28. Feb. – Rally Against Capital – Fuck the Banks, Fuck the City!

Via Green Anti-Capitalist Front London

The future of the planet is under attack. We are living through the willful destruction of Earth’s ecosystems and the billions of people who depend on them to survive. We know what is causing this destruction – the capitalist system we live in and the people who get disgustingly rich while knowing that they are only able to do so by destroying the future for everybody. Currently they ignore the plight of the global south while stealing resources to pad their pockets all the same; it’s about time we said no more. No more exploitation. No more capitalism. No more climate change!

Join us on the 28th of February at 2pm at in the City of London to tell the bankers, the rich, the powerful that we won’t let them take our planet – the people will not go down without a fight and we’re taking the fight to them to show them what we can do when we organise ourselves.

More details here.

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

OpenFeb

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.