Anarchy in the Sticks 2020!

Dorset Radical Bookfair

Dorset’s fourth Radical Bookfair will take place on the 8th August 2020 at Dorchester Corn Exchange. Invitations will go out soon, if you’d like to be involved please get in touch:

dorsetbookfair@riseup.net

World Resistance Day for Rojava: 2nd November 2019

Internationalist Commune

The revolution in Northeast Syria will prevail, fascism will be smashed!

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

Full post

A Class War Against State War – IWW Istanbul’s Statement on the Turkish Invasion of Syria

From Industrial Worker
The following statement was originally published on Yeryüzü Postası


We call on all workers — workers who are exploited under this system, workers who have become increasingly impoverished and who are being sent to die — not to join this war, but to unite against it.

At a time when war is taking place in Syria, war which has no purpose other than death, destruction, and poverty, the AKP government launched a mission of occupation that will only further increase chaos. Like the previous occupation of Afrin, this operation shows that neither Russia, the US, nor other imperialist powers care about the Kurdish people.

This operation is a continuation of the extermination and denial of the Kurdish state based on the rejection of a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question and is also part of the AKP’s imperial fantasies that will only complicate the Syrian problem. The provocation by Turkey, with the help of other countries, caused more Syrian people to leave their country and triggered a new wave of migration that made it impossible to build housing for refugees who were evacuated from the border region. It is madness.

To eliminate Kurds from the border zone eliminates the possibility of a peaceful solution to the problem. It makes the war even worse and only increases the chances of further chaos spreading in the Middle East.

Worker’s pay has already started to be cut back with the increased cost of operations in Turkey. The meaning of this operation is “do you know the price of one bullet?”

The increasing nationalism and militarization of Turkey only strengthens the capitalist system and the bosses who run it. This operation and the crisis it creates weakens our struggle against capitalism.

We are completely against this operation because it means more death and poverty for our class. We condemn all wars between nations, as a part of our historical heritage. We believe that it is the historic duty of the working class to fight against this war and the lie of national unity that is intended to be promoted in the name of this war. We have no common interests with the bosses and the governments in their service!

Furthermore, Turkish workers and thousands of other people have lost their lives, are getting poorer every minute, and live terrorized because of the Syrian war. To end this war, the workers of the world have to organize and move. We must strongly oppose the policy of states that provoke, deepen and make even more destructive the war for the interests of the ruling classes.

We call on all workers—workers who are exploited under this system, workers who have become increasingly impoverished and who are being sent to die—not to join this war, but to unite against it.

It is time to talk about what we can do against this war from our shopfloors, how to silence the chauvinists, how to defeat the smell of nationalist blood in the air, and how to stop the war and mitigate its effects. We are organizing workers against the war. Immediately! Now!

IWW Istanbul

Transphobia and the Bookfair – a clarification.

Anarchy in the Sticks!

It should be blindingly obvious to everyone by now that we are a trans-inclusive event. The collective has many transgender and non-binary comrades and they are welcome at the Bookfair.

We are mostly class-struggle anarchists and libertarian socialists, therefore anyone campaigning for the state to constrain transgender – or any other – people against their will, or to coerce them into prescribed paths and patterns of behaviour, would not be welcome.

We don’t see any need of exclusive facilities for cis-people, precisely because cis-people are the hegemonic group. For the same reason we don’t need white history month, straight pride month, international men’s day or exclusive clubs for gentiles. If attendees advocated for such things you would expect us to show them the door.

We should all beware of imposing our pet theories on other people’s lived experiences. You’re welcome to your ‘nuances’ (whatever that means) but don’t come around telling anyone they’re deluded or faking it. Please do not bring ‘gender-critical’ or ‘sex-essentialist’ propaganda to the Bookfair.

Enjoy the Bookfair, we’re going to!

Trans/intersex Solidarity Gathering Bournemouth 28th October.

Fellow Workers! Stand by our trans and intersex comrades in the U.S.A. An injury to one is an injury to all. 13:00 hrs Bournemouth Square (remember to put your clock back).

Donald Trump really doesn’t want you to do this, he’s counting on you not giving a shit.

From the organisers: “This is a gathering in solidarity with our trans and intersex family in the States dealing with the potential disgusting changes to the US definition of gender and sex.

The Trump administration wants to remove the word ‘gender’ from two key laws and replace it with ‘sex’, specifically they want to ‘define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with’, which goes against scientific and medical evidence from the AMA and APA.

This would remove protection from discrimination in the workplace, in schools, housing and healthcare to name a few.

Combine this with the recent changes to passport gender markers (to ‘sex marker’) and the resulting difficulty trans people have faced in accessing a passport, and you can form your own conclusions.

We gather in solidarity with our trans family, and our intersex family, to show that we #WontBeErased and #weseeyou

Statement from Bristol Solidarity Federation regarding ‘norwich SF’ facebook page.

Please share widely, especially if you are an anarchist and/or revolutionary unionist.

Taken from facebook: Solidarity Federation – Bristol 19th October

We were shocked and angered to see the bitterly transphobic messages appearing on Norwich Solfed’s facebook page this week. Our last contact with Norwich SF was at a federal conference a year ago, where the Norwich delegate informed us they were now the only member of Norwich Solfed. Norwich’s facebook page hadn’t been active for several months, so we assumed that the group had disbanded. We were aware of some bad blood between the current member and ex-members of Norwich SF. We don’t honestly know who is running their facebook page at the moment; whether it’s a troll, a former member with an axe to grind or a lingering bigot who simply hasn’t understood the organisation which they are part of. We plan on looking into this and we sincerely hope that whoever posted that message is nothing to do with the Solidarity Federation.

We can say in no uncertain terms that the views expressed on the Norwich SF page are abhorrent to us and not remotely representative of the views of the Solidarity Federation. We feel ashamed to share a name with anyone who thinks and talks in those terms.

We’re not going to go into the specifics of what happened at the London Bookfair. But to be clear, our objections to the Trans-Exclusionary ‘Radical Feminism’ espoused there and elsewhere are as follows:

  • Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Non-binary folks are non-binary. All of them are valid. Statements like ‘woman=adult human female’ aren’t ‘expressions of facts’, they are gross over-simplifications of complex issues that are designed to bait people and stoke transphobia. Don’t pretend you can’t see that.
  • Self ID is the only true measure of a person’s gender. As anarchists, we believe that the State should have no role in defining a person’s gender.
  • The claim that trans folks in women-only spaces pose a threat to the women in them has zero evidence to support it. There is a considerable amount of evidence that trans folk of any gender are at a huge risk of violence and denying them access to safe spaces, as the TERFs are campaigning for, would be massively harmful. The TERF’s claims that they are protecting women-only spaces are disingenuous and don’t stand up to scrutiny. Digging out a few token examples of trans women who are predators is a poor justification for demonising an entire social group.
  • Transphobia is a real, material force for oppression. It needs to be stamped out. Claiming that transphobia is ‘very far from being of vital importance to most people’ just shows that whoever wrote that post doesn’t know any trans people. An injury to one is an injury to all. Think about what that means.
  • TERFs are far-right bigots in a left-wing skin. Their tactics and rhetoric are no different to the tactics of Tommy Robinson and the rest of the alt-right, co-opting feminism and using the fear of sexual violence to persecute an already marginalised group. We can do better than buying their shit.

If anyone is unfamiliar with these issues and wants to know more, we can recommend the following organisations:

  • Sister not Cister UK
  • Sisters Uncut
  • Action for Trans Health
  • And if you can, we highly recommend checking out the excellent ‘Why we Fight the TERF War’ workshops which are running up and down the UK.
  • You can also contact Solfed’s LGBT+ co-ordinator.

Finally, we want to apologise on behalf of the whole Federation for what Norwich have done. We really hope that no-one exposed to their toxicity has been negatively affected by what was said.

Our Federal conference is next month and we will be raising this issue then. In the mean time, we would welcome contact from anyone involved in Norwich SF who can shed some light on what has happened.

We will investigate what’s happened and deal with it. SF will never be a safe hiding place for bigots.

Anna Campbell – Rest in Power Fellow Worker

From Bristol IWW

It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of Fellow Worker Anna Campbell, killed by Turkish forces while fighting alongside Kurdish Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) in the defence of Afrin.

Anna was a dedicated feminist, social justice and environmental campaigner known to members for her activism around the student occupation movement, ecological and community outreach projects in Bristol and Sheffield. She was a key organiser in the IWW’s IWOC group, also being involved with the Empty Cages Collective, Smash IPP and Bristol ABC.

Anna travelled to Syria last May to participate in the grassroots feminist and socialist revolution that continues to grow in Rojava (the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Syria). Anna spent her first months in the country fighting in Deir ez-Zor, Isis’s last major stronghold. However when Turkey launched an assault on the city of Afrin in late January. Anna insisted that she be redeployed there. She gave her commanders an ultimatum, ‘Either I will go home and abandon the life as a revolutionary or you send me to Afrin. But I would never leave the revolution, so I will go to Afrin’.

A spokesperson from the YPJ said of Anna (who took the nom de guerre ‘Helîn’ in Rojava): “comrade Helîn will always be a symbol as a pioneering internationalist woman. We will live up to her hope and beliefs. We will forever pursue her aim to struggle for women, for oppressed communities.”

Our thoughts and condolences are with Anna’s family, friends and comrades at this time.

Rest in Power Fellow Worker.

For more information on how you can support the Kurdish struggle please see:
Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign / Bristol Kurdish Solidarity Network