It’s that time of year again: the London Anarchist Bookfair 2010 is just a weekend or two away, in the East End on 23rd October. There are some history events as part of it:
A revolutionary centenary? The Cambrian Combine Strike and Tonypandy Riots of 1910
100 years ago a bitter-year-long coal strike erupted in the Rhondda Valley. Was it both the start and the peak of British syndicalism? And why did the Russian revolution kill this tradition? A talk by Dave Chapple, Chair, National Shop Stewards Network
Discovering Hidden History
Those who have seized ownership and control of the resources of society are very keen to also control what goes on in our heads. So a big part of radical history is digging out examples of resistance that the authorities have hidden. In this meeting we look at two examples (1) Joe Jacobs who lived very close to here and organised for 40 years after his fight against Moseley’s fascists in 1936 and (2) Walter Conway, from humble beginnings, was the main organiser for hospital medical services for ordinary people, in Tredegar , South Wales, before the national health service. Organised by: Radical History Network of North East London
Life Under The Jolly Roger: Reflections on Golden Age Piracy
In discussing his new book Life Under the Jolly Roger, Gabriel Kuhn will do his best to examine the political and cultural significance of these nomadic outlaws by relating historical accounts to a wide range of theoretical concepts — reaching from Marshall Sahlins and Pierre Clastres to Mao-Tse Tung and Eric J. Hobsbawm via Friedrich Nietzsche and Michel Foucault. Gabriel lives as an independent author and translator in Stockholm, Sweden. He has been involved in radical politics and publishing since the 1980s. Organised by: PM Press
From Proudhon to Kropotkin
This year marks the 170th anniversary of transformation of radical politics forever when Proudhon proclaimed myself an anarchist and that “property is theft”. Iain McKay (“An Anarchist FAQ”) will be discussing Proudhon’s ideas in light of a new anthology of his writings (Property is Theft, AK Press, 2010). He will show how Proudhon influenced revolutionary anarchism (and Marxism) as well as its impact of the biological theories of mutual aid and mutualism (Mutual Aid: An Introduction and Evaluation, AK Press, 2010). Organised by: AK Press & Distribution
Gustav Landauer and Revolution
“Landauer is the most important agitator of the radical and revolutionary movement in the entire country.” This is how Gustav Landauer is described in a German police file from 1893. Twenty-six years later, Landauer would die at the hands of reactionary soldiers who overthrew the Bavarian Council Republic, a three-week attempt to realise libertarian socialism amidst the turmoil of post-World War I Germany. Gabriel Kuhn lives as an independent author and translator in Stockholm, Sweden. He has been involved in radical politics and publishing since the 1980s. Organised by: PM Press
100 years of Swedish syndicalism. The story of SAC (The Central Organization of Swedish Workers) and perspectives on syndicalism from the IWW (UK) and Worker’s Initiative (Poland)
Midsummer 2010 marked the 100th anniversary of the Swedish syndicalist union SAC. In its history, the SAC has experienced low points and its membership has dropped below six thousand, but the continuity and strength of the organization is fascinating and unique, not least from an international perspective. Jan Abrahamsson describes the history of SAC, its victories and strengths, as well as its setbacks and strategic mistakes. Jan will be joined by Adam Lincoln from the IWW and Andrzej Klis from Worker’s Initiative. Together they will evaluate and discuss the present position of syndicalism in Europe and how we should approach the future. Organised by: SAC. Speakers: Jan Abrahamsson, Adam Lincoln, Andrzej Klis.
While I’m here, some gleanings from Entdinglichung’s latest: an obituary for Indian Marxist Vinayak Purohit (1927-2009), some new texts on Libcom: Antonio Gramsci: An Address to the Anarchists (1920); Socialisme Ou Barbarie (SoB): Open letter to members of the PCI and the “Fourth International” (1949); London Edinburgh Weekend Return Group (Jeanette Mitchell/Donald Mackenzie/John Holloway/Cynthia Cockburn/Kathy Polanshek/Nicola Murray/Neil McInnes/John McDonald): In and against the state (1979); Pierre van Paassen (Socialisme ou Barbarie): In Barcelona. Meeting with Durruti and the taking of Sietamo (1939).
New at RAHN: The variously radical life of Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst, and a new edition of Women in the Spanish Revolution by Liz Willis (1975).
Below the fold, some new releases from AK.
Flash: A Novel – Jim Miller
Jack Wilson is a scrappy city journalist bouncing from one alt weekly to the next, trying to eek out a living in the midst of the economic crisis and play role model to his college-aged son. A chance encounter with a faded Wanted poster in a San Diego library sends Jack deep into the wilds of California’s hidden history, in search of outlaw revolutionary Bobby Flash. As Jack tracks Flash through the I.W.W. Free Speech Fights, the Magonista Revolt, and the first red scare, he uncovers the real story of a forgotten revolutionary world—and learns something about the importance of family in the process. | Read More |
Carlo Tresca – Nunzio Pernicone
Nunzio Pernicone’s biography uses Carlo Tresca’s storied life (1879–1943)—as newspaper editor, labor agitator, anarchist, anti-communist, street fighter, and opponent of fascism—as a springboard to investigate Italian immigrant and radical communities in the United States. From his work on behalf of the IWW, the Sacco and Vanzetti Defense Committee, and his assassination on the streets of New York City, Tresca’s passion left a permanent mark on the American map. | Read More |
Paradoxes of Utopia – Juan Suriano
Most histories of anarchism in Argentina tend toward dry analyses of labor politics, lists of union acronyms, and the like. For Juan Suriano, that’s just one part of the story. Paradoxes of Utopia gives us an engaging look at fin de siècle Buenos Aires that brings to life the vibrant culture behind one of the world’s largest anarchist movements: the radical schools, newspapers, theaters, and social clubs that made revolution a way of life. Cultural history in the best sense, Paradoxes of Utopia explores how a revolutionary ideology was woven into the ordinary lives of tens of thousands of people, creating a complex tapestry of symbols, rituals, and daily practices that supported-and indeed created the possibility of-the Argentine labor movement. | Read More |
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