Count Down To May Day 2012 in Bristol

31 03 2012

Wow, quite a lot of cobwebs on this site, we brushed ’em off and dusted the place down as we figured it was time to get this blog going again. We have been putting all our time into our partner site recently and neglected this one.

The plan for this blog was that it would straddle all left leaning revolutionary groups but this didn’t happen in the way we hoped and as we didn’t want to just be running a front group it’s been shelved. But now, finally we have something to talk about.

Last week twenty-seven people including individuals from Bristol Anarchist Federation, Industrial Workers of the World, Socialist Party, Solidarity Federation, Socialist Workers Party, South West Against Nuclear, unaligned individuals and representatives of other events and student groups gathered to kick-start planning for International Workers Day 2012 in Bristol.

I for one, was really surprised at how well the meeting went. Turn out was far better than I expected and the meeting flowed pretty smoothly. We came to a decision to organise events on both Tuesday 1st May itself and then a second, larger day of action on Saturday 5th, as unfortunately in this country May 1st is not a bank holiday.

Lots of ideas came out of the meeting including a large central march as well as smaller local demos/events around the city. Others liked the idea of dong something fun to celebrate International Workers Day including plans for events and games in Bristol’s Parks and even live music or some sort of party. There were also some other very interesting ideas that it is probably best not to put up here quite yet. Our plan was to use the links the BADACA has with the Unions to organise a large demonstration. We also wanted to look to encourage single issue campaign groups and other organisation to organise events and demos to make it a week of fun and action.

Many people wanted to Focus on the NHS but at the same time be clear that all the cuts are an attack on the Working Classes.

Working groups have already formed to take on press, publicity, liasing with other groups, local events and writing a call out. As you can appreciate the first meeting of a large groups who don’t know each other well and in some cases actively avoid working together was mainly about idea generating. But such was the interest and energy to get things moving we set our next meting day for just four days later.

Obviously that doesn’t give us time to expand the invite to more people to come along to the meeting but our next meeting after that is Sunday 8th April, 5pm upstairs  at the Stag & Hounds on Old Market Street. (This may change so e-mail us if you are interested in getting involved or join this Facebook group).

See You In The Meeting Halls, See You In The Streets!

Individual from Bristol 1st of May Group

Anarchists Against The Cuts – FAQ

2 11 2010

As we increasingly begin to rub shoulders with Union officials, Socialists and the moderate and reformist left it is inevitable (and had been evident) that the role of Anarchists in the anti-cuts movement, their politics and tactics will be called in to question.

Poster from an AATC meeting in Nottingham

To that ends we have produced an FAQ leaflet to answer some of those questions and redress misinformation. We first distributed at the Bristol & district anti-cuts alliance meeting on November 1st. Some people didn’t get the point of it and refused to read it stating “I’m not an Anarchist” but on the whole it was positive and good chats were had with SWP, Socialist Party & SolFed Members.

So here’s the full text of the leaflet, or even better, Download and distribute:


Crowned heads, wealth and privilege may well tremble should ever again the Black and Red unite!” (Otto Von Bismark)

What is anarchism?

The term Anarchism comes from the Greek word anarchos, meaning “without rulers”.

Anarchism is a political philosophy which considers the state unnecessary and harmful, and instead promotes a stateless society. It seeks to abolish authority in the conduct of human relations. There is no single defining position that all anarchists hold.

Anarchists always cause trouble, cover their faces and vandalise stuff, what place do they have in the anti-cuts campaign?

History tells us that waving placards alone will not get the government to change how things are, however it can highlight the situation and encourage others to get involved with a campaign as well as providing a level of activism that is inclusive for everyone. Direct action has proven itself time and time again to be successful, but not when isolated. We want to see direct action on a mass scale to make the cuts unworkable. The police often target Anarchist blocs on marches, film them, search them and provoke reactions from them. Wearing masks prevents the police gathering information on protesters, also it is a symbolic sign of solidarity and shows that their actions are not for individual glory. The cuts will affect us all and it is not the place of any one group to say another group can not be involved in the campaign as this is no different to state repression.

So if Anarchists are against the state why are they fighting the cuts? Isn’t that reformist?

Anarchists want to bring about the abolition of all hierarchies, for that reason we support working class struggle against state attacks. Stopping the cuts would put the working classes in a much stronger position and such a victory would show that the ruling classes can be defeated. Fighting the cuts creates unity within the working classes and from there gives them the power to bring about real social change.

I once saw Anarchists trash an SWP stall, why should we work with people like that?

Socialists and Anarchists haven’t had the smoothest of relationships. Socialists blame Anarchists for causing trouble at demos and Anarchists blame socialists for selling them out to the police and not showing solidarity.

The A.A.T.C campaign hopes to put these problems behind us, we want to work with the Trade Unions and Socialist groups to strengthen the anti-cuts movement and not waste time squabbling. But this is not a one way street, Unions and Socialists need to accept anarchists into the movement and understand that their tactics and politics, although different are still valid. This FAQ, and the A.A.T.C initiative are an attempt to create a greater level of understanding, co-operation and solidarity between all groups involved in the fight against the cuts.

I want to join / How can I get in contact?

Anarchists against the cuts aims to be a UK wide (perhaps even international) campaign. It has no membership, central committee or formal meetings, if you are an Anarchist or are sympathetic to Anarchist principles, and interested in working with, not against the broader anti-cuts movement, you’re in. At present Bristol Anarchist Federation and Bath Activist Network are acting as a contact points for people who need to get in touch. Other non-hierarchical groups fighting the cuts you may be interested in joining include: IWW, Class War and the Solidarity Federation plus many other local grass roots resistance groups. Or why not try getting together with your neighbours, friends, colleagues and comrades and do it yourself.


Anarchists Against The Cuts