London AF will be running a stall at the Radical Bookfair this Saturday, 12-6. Come along and chat:
London AF will be running a stall at the Radical Bookfair this Saturday, 12-6. Come along and chat:
AFTER THE ELECTION:
THE ANARCHIST ALTERNATIVE
After the election we analyse the state of play, the nature of Corbynism and how we relate to it, and how we need to help bring to birth a mass grassroots movement that goes beyond electoral politics and poses a real threat to capitalism and the State with a vision of a new society based on equality and freedom. We will also be discussing the Grenfell fire and how the traditional left has responded and how our response should be diferent, based on encouraging self-organisation.We will be inviting guest speakers and there will be plenty of time for everyone to discuss.
Refreshments available, disabled access
Convened by London Anarchist Federation
7pm, Thursday June 29th at Common House, 5e Pundersons Gardens London E2 (nearest tube Bethnal Green
“The people who died and lost their homes – this happened to them because they are poor,” Akala, rapper and poet, local resident.
“Regeneration is a euphemism for ethnic and class cleansing”: Kensington resident and writer Ishmahil Blagrove.
Guilty-Boris Johnson. When Mayor of London he put through cuts including the closure of 10 fire stations and the loss of 552 firefighters jobs despite pre-election promises not to do so. When questioned over this at the Greater London Assembly he said:” Get Stuffed”. The loss to the fire services meant a slower response time to the fire, with fire teams having to be called in from outside London.
Guilty -Kensington and Chelsea Council. They repeatedly ignored warnings for years from residents about fire hazards. They attempted to close down a blogger, Francis O’Connor, member of the Grenfell Action Group (GAG) after he warned about fire hazards at Grenfell. They sent a lawyer to threaten him, which he ignored. Nicholas Paget-Brown, leader of the council, attended a private dinner to which he was invited by organizers of the MIPIM (property developers) conference in 2015. The council has had plans to cleanse the residents and build luxury flats in the neighbourhood for the last three years. Now Paget-Brown is trying to put blame on the residents by falsely saying that they objected to water sprinklers.
Guilty. Kensington and Chelsea Tenants Management Organisation. The “arm’s length” body set up by Kensington and Chelsea Council to manage Grenfell block ignored tenants’ warnings. It was handed £11 million by the Council to manage the block and in 2015-2016 its bosses got a grand total of £650,794 in salaries! As GAG wrote: “We believe that the KCTMO have ensured their ongoing survival by the use of proxy votes at their Annual General Meeting that see them returned with a mandate of 98% in favour of the continuation of their inept and highly dangerous management of our homes” and that “It is our conviction that a serious fire in a tower block or similar high density residential property is the most likely reason that those who wield power at the KCTMO will be found out and brought to justice! The Grenfell Action Group believe that the KCTMO narrowly averted a major fire disaster at Grenfell Tower in 2013 when residents experienced a period of terrifying power surges that were subsequently found to have been caused by faulty wiring. We believe that our attempts to highlight the seriousness of this event were covered up by the KCTMO with the help of the RBKC Scrutiny Committee who refused to investigate the legitimate concerns of tenants and leaseholders.” (this was written in November 2016!) KCTMO was given a “deficiency notice” last year by the London fire brigade after an audit at another of its properties.
Guilty. Gavin Barwell. Now Theresa May’s chief of staff, the then Housing Minister in 2013 promised to review part B of the Building Regulations 2010, relating to fire safety, but the review never happened. This was after the fire at another tower block, Lakanal House in Southwark in 2009 that killed six people. Instead housing ministers have sat on it for four years!
Guilty. Brandon Lewis, another Tory Housing Minister who sat on information about fire risks at blocks like Grenfell because it would “discourage building”. He waved away suggestions about installation of water sprinklers in 2014 saying it was “all red tape”
Guilty. The Conservative government itself and back bench Tory MPS who voted against a motion to make “homes fit or human habitation” in 2016 with a clause to undertake regular electrical checking. Among these were 72 MPs who are also landlords, including the present Police and Fire Minister Nick Hurd. The then local government minister Marcus Jones said it “would result in unnecessary regulation and cost to landlords”.
But GUILTY most of all is the whole class system, capitalism itself, that for decades now has unleashed the policies of neoliberalism on the working class, policies of the unbridled market, policies of austerity, policies of vicious attacks on social services and what is the robbing of the poor to make the wealthy even wealthier. This system should be sentenced to death.
We are participating in the Anti University events from 10th-16th June –Teaching and Learning As Direct Action, a direct action programme of self-organised radical learning activities. On June 11th as part of these events we will be putting on a public meeting at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, WC1 (nearest tube Holborn) at 4pm, An Introduction To Anarchist Communism.
Later the same day at the same venue at 7pm, London AF will be hosting the writer-activist Pieter Gelderloos, who will be speaking about his new book Worshipping Power: An Anarchist View of Early State Formation’.This book provides a history of state formation in Asia, the Americas, Africa, and Europe, from Mesopotamia to the 20th century. Identifying different models or paths of state formation, Worshiping Power lays the groundwork for an anarchist theory of the origin of states, and in the process disputes common misconceptions stemming from liberal, Marxist, primitivist, and environmental determinist theories of state formation. Rather than treating state formation as a singular event, a Pandora’s Box, Worshiping Power analyzes state formation as a constant process, with religious, militaristic, economic, and kinship-based motors. It is also a work in grassroots scholarship, taking the study of the State out of academic institutions and into the streets, showing how a historically grounded understanding of the nature of the State is relevant to today’s struggles against patriarchy, environmental devastation, racism, war, and capitalism. There will be a talk by the author and Q&A session. Peter Gelderloos is also the author of ‘Anarchy works’ and ‘The failure of non-violence’. At White Building, Queen’s Yard, White Post Lan,e Hackney Wick, London E9 5EN
London AF turned out for the anti-fox Hunting demo today (may 29th). As well as handing out Rebel City we gave out a leaflet (text of leaflet below:
TROOPS OFF OUR STREETS!
The attacks on Manchester, like elsewhere, have left people horrified, angry and insecure. However, May’s response, to turn Britain into an occupied war zone, is not the answer.
· It sets a dangerous precedent. Any time the government decides there is a threat the troops can be called in. This could be anti-government protests, strikes etc. Already an anti-fox hunting demonstration has been told that if they use flares they will be shot at. Hollande in France has already used the excuse of ‘terrorism’ to shut down demonstrations.
· There is not enough money to continue to deploy troops for any length of time. Why it is being done now? It is a bit like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted! Does it have something to do with May trying to look like a tough leader before the election?
· There is a real danger that the troops will shoot an innocent person. Remember the Brazilian who was attacked and killed on a tube train because he looked like a terrorist? The police are already known for shooting people who are the ‘wrong’ colour. The soldiers are even more likely to shoot and ask questions later.
· The troops aren’t actually going to stop such attacks. They are focused on key public areas, or where there are ‘important’ people, but ISIS militants have been known to attack anywhere. If they want to carry out an attack they will just go somewhere that the troops aren’t.
So what can be done?
We need to address the issues that have caused a number of people not only to undertake such horrific actions, but to give up their own lives in the name of one version of a religion. It is not confined to Islam. All religions have been known to justify atrocities in this way. How can you deal with people who think they have God on their side?
· Legacy of the foreign policy of Britain, the US and other self-proclaimed world ‘leaders’.
Military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq have not led to freedom and stability for people but instead created resentment and anger at outside interference. We need to put a halt to a foreign policy which does acts as if the West has the right to invade, bomb and generally lord it over other countries. Instead, we need actions of solidarity and material support for all those in the countries themselves who are fighting for freedom and against oppression. This includes an open-door policy for those fleeing from conflicts.
· Stop supplying arms to governments who support reactionary Islamist groups.
The US armed and supported the Taliban, allied with Al Qaeda, in its fight against the Russians in Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia, the main exporter of Wahhabism, a reactionary version of Islam, is a main ally of the West. Our government has continually supplied arms to Saudi Arabia which in turn provides support for ISIS and Al Qaeda.
· Address the underlying social issues which are driving young Muslims to seek meaning in the fight against what they see as the colonialism of the infidel.
In a time of government-imposed austerity and economic insecurity young people are suffering the most. Racism and discrimination are wide-spread. We need to organise together to fight against austerity and racism, building up communities of solidarity that can tackle these problems and offer an alternative vision of society.
We are holding a fundraiser for Cribs (https://cribsinternational.org/), a group working with pregnant refugees and new mothers in Greece. There will be a talk from a breastfeeding counsellor who has been out in Greece volunteering with the organisation and we will be putting on vegan food and booze to get you in the mood to donate.
So come along- eat, drink and help out some people in desperate need of solidarity!
Successful distro of Rebel City plus literature stall outside Brixton tube on Saturday May 27th. All the Rebel City we took along were taken. Another distro somewhere in London this coming Saturday. Watch this space.