London Anarchist Bookfair 2013

It’s that time of year again.  It will be on Saturday  27th October  From 10am to 7pm at Queen Mary’s, University of London on the Mile End Road. Here are two Poumista recommendations.

The Path Not Taken – welfare history and the libertarian perspective 11am – 12 noon Room 3.22

To know where you’re going, you need to know where you came from.  One piece of hidden history is the way working class people, in face of the most ruthless capitalism ever, erected a system of welfare services, based on mutual aid “friendly societies”.  Health, education, housing, benefits, etc, were all included as the new book tells.  We can’t resurrect the friendly societies but we can work for modern collective libertarian welfare services, as well as defending the compromise welfare state.  Books available. Organised by:  Socialist Libertarian Group [Whoy are they?]

1839: The Chartist Insurrection 12 noon – 1pm Room 3.18

The Chartists were the original political movement of the working class, and 1839 was the year a National Convention assembled in London, and revolution seemed a real possibility. The year ended with an armed uprising in London, followed by the trial of its leaders for treason. Our speaker, David Black, is co-author (with Chris Ford) of a new book on the events of 1839. Organised by: Hobgoblin

Published in: on October 22, 2012 at 7:31 am  Comments (2)  
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London Anarchist Bookfair 22 October

It’s that time of year again. Events include:

Is Capitalism destroying itself? And can we replace it? 4.30pm to 6.00pm 
‘Karl Marx got it right, capitalism can destroy itself.’– Nouriel Roubini (IMF and US Treasury adviser). ‘The [economic] icebergs are the worst in the lifetime of anyone now living.’ – Kenneth Clarke. ‘People have lost faith in the free-market, Western democratic order.’ – Charles Moore (Thatcher’s biographer and Telegraph editor). Our rulers are worried. Austerity is not reviving the economy. Instead, it has led to protests and riots that are likely to intensify. How did we get here and what are the prospects for anti-capitalist revolution? A debate with: Selma James (Wages for Housework Campaign; Chris Knight (Radical Anthropology Group); Hillel Ticktin (‘Critique, a Journal of Socialist Theory’)

Mistakes of the Spanish Revolution 4.00pm to 5.00pm
My main contention is simple; briefly, it is that between July-August 1936, the FAI-CNT regional, national and peninsular committees of the CNT-FAI abandoned all pretence of being popular revolutionary organs. Instead, within a matter of days, they constituted a vested interest structure that served, primarily, to apply the brakes to — and reverse — the spontaneous revolutionary activity of the barrio (ward/district) committees, defence cadres, the action groups and the defence committees, and repress the rank-and-file activists who were pressing for social revolution. ‘Anti-fascist unity’ and state power were promoted at the expense of anarchist principles and values while the hegemony of the notables of the CNT–FAI leadership was imposed over the local revolutionary district committees and the general assemblies. Speaker: Stuart Christie

From the Paris Commune to Saint-Imier 1.00pm to 2.00pm
The Paris Commune of 1871 inspired revolutionaries everywhere. When it was defeated, tens of thousands of communards were murdered, imprisoned or deported. The events of ‘Bloody Week’ (May 21st to 28th) traumatised anarchists and drove some to the despair of assassination and bomb-throwing. Others regrouped in August the following year at Saint-Imier, Switzerland, with comrades disaffected from the by-then authoritarian sham that was Marx’s International. They established structures and founding principles at the roots of modern class-struggle anarchist organisation. This meeting builds for what will be the 140th anniversary of that congress: 9th-12th August 2012, in Saint-Imier itself. Organised by: Anarchist Federation

Red Rosa and the Arab Spring 4.00pm to 5.00pm
Any revolutionary movement needs both spontaneity and organisation, the how can these apparent opposites be combined successfully? As the popular uprisings of 2011 bring this question to the fore once again, we will examine the ideas of Rosa Luxembury (1871 – 1919) and Raya Dunayevskaya (1910 – 1987). Organised by: Hobgoblin

Free University 1.00pm to 2.00pm
Until the twentieth century, the role of the University differed little from the times of Plato and Aristotle; to create an educated elite from amongst the ruling class. Then in the 1920s the IWW initiated a People’s College, under the auspices of Cornell University; while in the midst of the Spanish Civil War the CNT-AIT and FAI started La Universida Popular. Education became available to all. As University admissions shrink due to current neoliberal policies, the Anarchist university in Toronto and A-Bildungnetz in Hannover continue to propose a system of non-hierarchical concensus-driven learner networks, and here some of our German comrades will discuss these issues. Organised by: Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)

Published in: on October 12, 2011 at 12:26 pm  Comments (4)  
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